FUJAIRAH RESIDENTS CALL FOR BRIDGE OVER WADI AFTER PUPILS STRANDED
▶ More than 600 children forced to stay in school gymnasium after flooding
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.”
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