In Kalungu, floods have kept a school closed and residents are disillusioned

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In Kalungu, floods have kept a school closed and residents are disillusioned
Kamuwunga Primary School remains submerged | Zainab Ssengendo

Despite the new school term starting on Monday, uncertainty looms large over the future of Kamuwunga Primary School.

Persistent flooding, which forced the school to close last term, remains unresolved, leaving the students and their parents in a state of anxiety.

Upon visiting Kamuwunga school, the devastation was evident. The roads leading to the school are submerged, forcing us to wade barefoot through the water.

Inside the school grounds, floodwaters continued to rise despite the absence of recent rainfall. This has left the school's 450 pupils, including 42 preparing for their crucial Primary Leaving Examination, in a precarious situation.

The atmosphere at the school was somber. The once vibrant campus now echoes with eerie silence, broken only by the sporadic activities of children who could no longer attend classes regularly.

The parents expressed their deep frustration and helplessness.

The writer wades through flood waters to reach Kamuwunga

"The situation is very disruptive to our children's education. We don't know what to do," lamented Matia Ssekimpi, a parent at Kamuwunga P/S, echoing the sentiments of many others who feel abandoned by the authorities.

Local leaders, including Kalungu Resident District Commissioner Paddy Kayondo, have proposed setting up temporary tents at a nearby landing site for the students.

"We are looking into establishing tents where the children can continue their studies. We have got these tents from UNICEF," Dr Kayondo said.

However, this suggestion has been met with scepticism. Residents have condemned their elected leaders who failed to help them in this dire state of their school and the village at large.

"Our leaders have only filled us with words but no action. They haven't addressed the root cause of the flooding," said Ronald Ssemmanda, chairman of Kamuwunga Village.

“Many of them have visited this school including LC3, LC5 and the area member of parliament Francis Katabaazi, which gave us hope that the situation may be solved before the second term, but nothing has been done,” Ssemanda added.

Now parents and residents are appealing to their leaders to come out and help them in this situation after the failure of their elected leaders.

“When Katabaazi visited this school, we thought he was going to address the flooding issue in Parliament but he did not. And when he came he told us that I have nothing to do. I have just come here to watch what has happened to my area," said John Mutagubya, a resident also a chairperson Kamuwunga PTA.

"So, we are appealing to former area MP Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja to come out and help us as he did for the people of Lukaya because the ones we elected have failed. They think words can work yet words can not work."

John Mutagubya, chairman of the School Management Committee, said sand mining in Lweera is a significant factor contributing to the flooding.

"We have pleaded with the authorities to stop the sand miners, but nothing has been done," he remarked.

The conditions in Kamuwunga Village are dire. The village, a home to over 1,000 people, lacks basic amenities such as clean water and functional toilets. The landing site, proposed as a temporary school site, is also in poor condition, further complicating the situation.

While the local leaders promise temporary solutions, the residents of Kamuwunga are calling for immediate and effective action to address the flooding that has brought their community and educational system to a standstill.

The community of Kamuwunga remains hopeful but wary, as they await tangible efforts to secure their children's education and future.

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