FU­JAIRAH RES­I­DENTS CALL FOR BRIDGE OVER WADI AFTER PUPILS STRANDED

▶ More than 600 chil­dren forced to stay in school gym­na­sium after flood­ing

The National - News - - NEWS | EMIRATES - RUBA HAZA

Res­i­dents of the Fu­jairah town of Mar­bad want a new bridge and road im­prove­ments after hun­dreds of pupils were stranded when a wadi flooded.

More than 600 chil­dren at Ru­mathi Al An­sari Pri­mary School could not go home for four hours after storms blocked their way on Sun­day.

The pupils had to wait in the gym­na­sium be­cause of wa­ter leak­ing from the roof into the class­rooms.

Mar­bad is in the moun­tains, 33 kilo­me­tres west of Fu­jairah and 9km from Masafi.

Fu­jairah Po­lice said the pupils were kept at school for their own safety and were sent home once the roads were clear.

“We were sit­ting in class and the wa­ter started to drip from the ceil­ing, then the teacher took us to the sports hall and gave us wa­ter and chips,” said Ghaya Al Dah­mani, 8.

The Emi­rati in Grade 3 said the wadi and the road in front of the school were flooded.

“It’s the first time we have been trapped at the school but it wasn’t scary, and the teach­ers were al­ways telling us not to worry and that we would be soon go­ing home,” Ghaya said.

Her mother said that when the rain be­gan, she re­ceived a mes­sage from the school say­ing they would send the chil­dren home early.

“But the wadi started to flood and blocked the buses’ way out of the school, and they stayed there un­til 4.15pm,” said Umm Obaid, 34.

“Civil De­fence teams and po­lice were in the area to keep the chil­dren safe and find a way to get them home.”

The mother of four, who moved to the area 11 years ago, said that it was cru­cial that a bridge was built over the wadi cross­ing and she urged au­thor­i­ties to pave the dirt roads.

“I was re­ally wor­ried when I saw the wadi flood­ing be­cause our house is right next to it,” Umm Obaid said.

“I was re­lieved when the school de­cided to keep the chil­dren at the school un­til the wa­ter lev­els came down.

“A bridge should be built and the road that leads to the school should be paved along with other in­ter­nal roads in the town as soon as pos­si­ble, to avoid an­other in­ci­dent dur­ing the win­ter sea­son.”

Ru­maithi Al An­sari Pri­mary School teaches girls and boys from Grades 1 to 4.

An­other Emi­rati res­i­dent said the area around her home was com­pletely flooded.

“We live next to the wadi on the same side of the school,” said Maryam Al Yamahi, 40, a mother of nine.

“The wa­ter was every­where and my son was also stuck at the school for about four hours.

“I thanked Al­lah for keep­ing him and all the chil­dren safe and I didn’t worry much be­cause they were in good hands.

“We moved here from Al Bithna five years ago and this is the first time such an in­ci­dent has hap­pened.

“The school is still new but they need to pave the road in front of it and find a so­lu­tion to the wadi.”

Pawan Singh / The Na­tional

Top, school buses cross the wadi, cen­tre, in Mar­bad, Fu­jairah; Ghaya Al Dah­mani was one of 600 pupils stranded at Al An­sari Pri­mary School by storms on Sun­day

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