The spate of erosion taking place on the strip of land banking the Prince of Wales (POW) School at Kingtom with the Atlantic Ocean is anything but very alarming.
The sea, coupled up with man-made activities such as sand, stone and earth mining is taking a hard bite on the situation by making the sea literally eating up the land getting nearer and nearer to the school. Squatters along this eroding land strip back of the school’s fence revealed that they are actually protecting the school’s property from erosion by banking and fortifying their shacks. They deny being engaged in illicit sand, stone and clay mining, but the Vice Principal, Aubrey Jones explained that although the sea plays its own part in the soil erosion, that notwithstanding “the part played by stone, sand and earth miners who usually come in canoes to cart away rocks which used to protect the banks is also a major contributing factor.”
He agreed that shacks surrounding the school are a “potential threat” and might serve as latent joints for pupils who play truancy, but however he pointed out that to forestall such from happening “we have banned all students from using that end of the field…” The Vice Principal explained that squatters were using the school field as a thoroughfare which was causing a lot of pilfering inside the school compound.
As such he said they have to stop people from using the field as a thoroughfare, “but there is this threat of pilfering as long as the squatters are there…” The Old Boys Association, he explained “is organizing fund raising activities” and we are also in touch with Old Boys in the diaspora to assist because “it is a multi million project which we by ourselves cannot afford … that is why the government should come in….” Jones explained that Connaught has been protected from such kind of erosion by beautiful engineering explaining that “stone perching is the only way we can protect the Prince of Wales,” he said.
He also revealed that a letter was written to the Lands Ministry sometime last year and sometime in October and November they had a visit from officials of that ministry and “they informed us that these illicit structures will be destroyed within a week and up till now nothing has being done.”
“We are still hoping that they will come. We want to appeal to them not to forget us. It is their duty and posterity will not treat all of us lightly if we allow this damage that is being done to this school to continue,” he said.
By Ophaniel Gooding