By Julie Badui-Owa – EMTV News, Lae
Gantom Primary School in Huon Gulf District in Morobe was closed today (August 6) for an indefinite period by the Lae City Council Health Division.
With an outstanding bill of K3000 yet to be paid, the school’s water supply was cut in 2009 and more than 1100 students have been using pit toilets since then.
School’s teachers are currently using the permanent septic toilet facility, for the male and female students, which they fetch water from outside to flush out the wastes.
The public reported the matter to the Lae Urban Local Level Government Health Division and the Health Inspectors conducted an inspection two weeks ago. Nothing was done by the parents and the school board and administration to sort out the issue.
The Health Inspectors went to the school today (August 6) and issued a closure notice for an indefinite period to the school administration.
More than 100 parents, 33 teachers and over 1, 100 students witnessed it.
Lae City Council Health Division Senior Health Inspector, Paul Lejuwom said the division will reopen the school once the water supply and toilet facilities are restored.
A similar situation happened to Huonville Primary School in Lae in April this year. Six classrooms were condemned by the PNG Fire Service, the Health Department and the Building Board for not being structurally safe.
Gantom Primary School is located in West Taraka, a suburb outside of Lae City is the second school that was forced to close by authorities this year in Morobe Province.