The renovation of Leer Primary School, one of the oldest schools in Unity State, which was vandalized during the conflict, started on Sunday with funding from the UN Children Agency – UNICEF.
The historic school built in 1962 was abandoned and badly damaged during the years of the South Sudan Civil War.
It will now be renovated by A.E.S Engineering Limited and is projected to be fully safe for classes in February 2024.
Chiriga Bosco, the site foreman at the renovation project said the work which includes the renovation of classrooms, construction of new additional classrooms, and toilets.
“We started the renovation work with removing the iron sheets because they are damaged. We are removing the iron sheet, and we shall replace them. There are cracks all over the building, we shall reinforce them,” he said.
“There are plasters which are loosened, even the roof is completely damaged. The windows are damaged, we are going to replace the one that are destroyed and repair the ones that are okay. We are going to make the whole building with the new paint.”
“We have new building that is going to be started from the foundation, it’s four classrooms as one block.”
Mr. Bosco said according to the agreement with UNICEF, the work is supposed to be completed with seven months starting on the dates of start.
“We arrived here on Friday September 25, 2023, and construction work start yesterday Sunday September 27. we expect the work to finish in seven months.”
He expressed optimism and asks the community to bear with the logistical delays caused by poor road network.
“Since it’s renovation there are things, you don’t in the beginning, but you see them once you are deep into the work. So, it might go beyond that [time] but what we have calculated is around seven months to fully finish the work.”
“We have two blocks that are going to be renovated, one is four classroom blocks the other one is three classroom blocks. We have three blocks of toilets, one toilet for staffs, one toilet for ladies and then one toilet for gentlemen.”
“Staff’s toilet will have two stances while toilet blocks for boys and girls will have five stances each. Additional toilet with one stance for people living with disabilities will be constructed.”
According to Bosco, the agreement does not include the construction of the school fences.
“There is no fence in that contract, there is only renovation and construction of new classrooms blocks. The genesis of this work, UNICEF moved around South Sudan and see where help is needed after identifying a place where help is needed, they then advertise. It’s not just one feeling and someone goes that am going to do this work no.”
“We always employ locals roughly 25 people will be employed including the experts and the locals. UNICEF has brought in a consultant to supervise the work, local authority are welcome to interact with our team.”
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