Students of the Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha, Anambra State, have begun a peaceful protest over the flood that has taken over the institution and paralysed both academic and non-academic activities.
The President, Student Union Government of the institution, Chigozie Onyenyili, who spoke to journalists at the school gate before the protest began on Thursday, said students had remained awake every night because their hostels were flooded.
He said the flood which began after a downpour which destroyed property belonging to students, including beds and learning materials.
Onyenyili noted that the perennial flooding in the Federal Government-owned institution was worsened because contractors from the government destroyed their existing drainage in a bid to build a new one, without providing alternative measures to mitigate the flood.
He said, “Flooding has been an issue in the institution, but it was worsened because the government recently commenced flood control process by removing an existing drainage inside the school, but they didn’t put the necessary measures in place to mitigate flood.
“They commenced flood control during the rainy season, but now, they have abandoned the work, and as we speak, the entire institution is flooded. Students’ belongings are being destroyed; our beds, mattresses, learning materials, laptops, pots of soups have been washed away.
“We are embarking on this peaceful demonstration to draw the attention of the government towards our plight. The management of the institution has done its best, but we need the government to step in and continue the job which they have abandoned.
“The two machines the government brought for the job are not working and there is a need for them to bring in more personnel to commence the work so that normal activities will resume at the institution.”
During the peaceful demonstration in the community, some students of the institution were seen scooping water out of their various rooms from their hostels, while some were also trying to salvage some of their property like laptops, phones, clothes and beds from the flood.
Another student, Nkiru, who took our correspondent near the affected hostels, also lamented that the flood damaged their laptops, mobile phones, learning equipment, beds, and carried their pots of soup away.
“The flood suddenly submerged our beds and we have remained awake every night. This flood has subjected us all to pain. Other students, whose valuables are inside, have abandoned them because there is no way in and the flood has filled the whole place.”
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Owoh Ugochukwu, blamed the Anambra State Government for the development.
Ugochukwu noted that the state government channelled water coming from Obosi, Nkpor and Onitsha-Owerri Road and environs down to the school without providing adequate measures for enough drainage.
He said, “The flood issue has lingered for some years now, but the school authorities are doing their best. The flood is as a result of the state government channelling water that comes from Obosi, Nkpor, Onitsha-Owerri Road and environs down to the school.
“As we speak now, the water has covered the buildings in the school and the buildings are sinking. The students’ hostels, school mosque, church and lecture halls are under the flood. The student beds, mattresses, learning equipment and pots of soups are swimming in the flood all over the places.”