Schools Slowly Reopen as Flooding Subsides

Five out of six schools in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district have reopened over the past few weeks as most of the flooding that plagued the area since October has subsided, school officials said Thursday.

Many of the area’s schools have been closed since mid-October when water levels reached almost 2-meters-deep.

The schools have added extra days on their schedules to make up for the lost time, officials said, but some raised concerns that the damage caused by the water will require lengthy and expensive repairs.

“So far the authorities never take care of the school situation. They promise a new building, fences and to fill the land, but we never see any results,” said Hai Chanserey Va­thana, principal of Chamroeun­cheath secondary high school, which was one of the first schools to open about five weeks ago. Hai Chanserey Vathana said he needed at least one new classroom building and that he had filed many complaints but had not yet received any help from authorities.

Chea Sim Chamroeunrath high school is the only school in the area still affected by flooding, according to Um Hoerung, municipal education department chief, but students can still use classrooms in the primary school nearby, he said.

He blamed the flooding on poor drainage systems in the area, but he was not worried about the cost of the damage because most of the schools are still in good shape.

The water is still 50 cm deep in Chea Sim Chamroeunrath and it will probably take at least two weeks before it can open again, the school’s director Dy Kosal said Thursday. The water has caused significant damage to the buildings, desks and chairs, he said.

“I need at least one year to repair the school,” Dy Kosal said, estimating the cost of the repairs to be at least $7,000.

On Thursday, District Governor Klaing Huot said authorities are working on a plan to prevent such extensive flooding from happening again, adding that such a plan has already been given to the municipal public works department for review.

Related Stories

Latest News