Principal seeks help for Anambra school destroyed by windstorm


Izuu Okoye, a Catholic priest and principal of Fr. Joseph Memorial High School, Aguleri in Anambra State, has called for help to repair the enormous damage done to the school by Saturday’s windstorm.

Mr Okoye made the call on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He specifically requested the state and federal governments, as well as public-spirited Nigerians, to come to the aid of the school to enable it to resume teaching and learning.

He said the windstorm pulled down about 14 structures and 15 electric poles in the 61-year-old school owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha.

He listed the administrative block, classroom blocks, kitchen, hostel block and pavilion as some of the structures destroyed by the incident.

Mr Okoye said the incident has disrupted electricity supply to the school, while water supply has also been adversely affected.

He expressed joy that there was no loss of lives but blamed the level of destruction on the lack of trees on the school premises, which ought to serve as a windbreaker.

He said the school management was in a dilemma over how to meet the April 15 date for the commencement of the school examination for its 1,600 students.

Narrating the incident, he said: “It happened around 8.30pm on Saturday, the day our students returned from the Easter break.

“The windstorm came suddenly, pulled off the roof of our pavilion, and destroyed our hall, library and some buildings in our staff quarters.”

The President of the Old Boys Association of the school, Emman Udeakpeh, also told NAN that the entire college community was still in shock over the incident.

According to Mr Udeakpeh, it looks like it was a tornado, considering the magnitude of the destruction.

He described the incident as a natural disaster, saying the group was still consulting and working round the clock to ensure that normal academic activities returned in the school.

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He said: “We need the efforts of everybody to fix the damaged infrastructure because the school and church cannot do it alone.

“For the Old Boys, it is a trying moment and an emergency situation but we are doing our best to ensure normalcy returns.

“We advise that people go into massive tree planting to protect our environment. This will help to reduce the effect of this type of storm.”

The boarding school, NAN reported, is one of the biggest and functional camps for internally displaced people in the perennially flood-prone area.

Meanwhile, officials of the National Emergency Management Agency and Anambra State Emergency Management Agency have visited the school to assess the level of damage.

(NAN)

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