Erosion Threatens 650 Students at D. Twe High

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Six hundred and fifty students at the D. Twe High School may be asked to stay home if the relentless surge of the Atlantic Ocean threatening to erode their school is not stopped, a school official has said.

The school official is worried that with the country anticipating more heavy rains in the coming months, it might increase the erosion that has been persistently attacking this ocean side high school in New Kru Town, already destroying a portion of the school’s concrete fence.

Vice principal for Student Affairs, Momoh K. Sambollah, told the Daily Observer yesterday that the future of the school and its 650 students is now uncertain.

“That is if nothing else is done to prevent the erosion from taking over the school,” he feared.

Sambollah said another section of the already broken wall came down yesterday and students have been warned not to linger around the affected area.

“But as you can see, people in the community are walking through the broken wall to get to the other side of the town.

“We have had three burglaries since the wall came down,” Sambollah said.

He disclosed that the administration had discovered suspected individual(s) who had broken into the school offices on three occasions.

“We are fortunate that on each occasion, whoever came did not find any use for our printer cartridges.

“We have a two-man security shift during the day and the evening and we could prevent any untoward attempt at the school if we had an additional team of security officers here,” he said.

The administration would appreciate the presence of officers from the Liberia National Police on the campus.

He told our reporter that MCSS Superintendent Benjamin Jacobs visited the school when the larger portion of the school’s fence came down and he inspected the damage.

“He spoke to the student body and assured them that efforts are being made to protect their school,” Samballoh said.

He appealed to the government to take immediate preventive measures to save D. Twe and its student population.

“It will be a tragedy to lose this school,” said Samballoh, who graduated from D. Twe in 2004.

Mr. Victor M. Pomawenie, vice president-elect of the D. Twe Student Representative Council, reminded the government and stakeholders that not every parent can afford private school education.

“D. Twe is providing education to many of us whose parents cannot afford prohibitive private school education,” he said.

He wondered about the fate of 650 students currently enrolled at the D. Twe High School, should erosion and government’s inaction combined to end their learning.

“It would be a disaster,” Pomawenie said, “and therefore I’m appealing to the Liberian government and its partners to rescue D. Twe.”

Officials at the Monrovia Consolidated School System confirmed to the Daily Observer that frantic efforts are underway to ensure that D. Twe is protected from the relentless erosion.

“Superintendent Adolphus Jacobs is working with relevant authorities to save D. Twe and bring relief to its students,” a source told the Daily Observer in a telephone interview yesterday.

The current tragedy facing D. Twe was foreseen more than twenty years ago, a resident told the Daily Observer.

In one of its early editions in 1982, this newspaper, the Daily Observer’s New Kru Town correspondent reported the beginning of what is happening now, which was evidently ignored by authorities, a resident said.

“It is not only D. Twe that is at stake,” he said, “but the entire New Kru Town and adjacent communities.”

Many residents have been homeless, since last year when heavy rains and unchecked erosion forced them out of their homes. Other nearby areas affected by erosion are Popo Beach, and Colonel West.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has reported the approval of US$1.2M to renovate schools throughout the country, according to Daily Observer reporter Alvin Worzi, quoting Deputy Education Minister for Administration Aagon Tingba.


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