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ECOT A SERIOUS HEALTH HAZARD

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MBABANE - Eswatini College of Technology (ECOT) students returned from home rejuvenated and ready for the new semester, only to be met with a hazardous environment.


The institution seems unfit for human habitation judging from the overgrowth and shattered window panes.
This state of affairs sums up the story of the students who returned to the institution of higher learning on Sunday evening.
The concerned students said instead of finding a college that was ready to receive them and one that was well aware of their  imminent return, they found nothing but overgrown grass as if it was a rainforest.


Complained


They complained that the grass was so tall such that snakes and other dangerous reptiles could be found there.
As a result, the students said they were ready to abandon their lessons and go clear the premises themselves as it had been proven that the administration could not do it.


The students said they preferred to clear the overgrowth because they knew that if they engaged in a protest over this issue, they would risk being suspended.
They claimed this was the norm each time they attempted to raise issues with the administration.
“We are aware that boycotting lessons would reduce our lecture time, but we are willing to sacrifice our hours for lessons for our safety,” one of them said.
According to the concerned students, the situation was so dangerous such that they feared being within the college premises because the grass had literally grown to almost their height.


Fear


Their fear was that they could turn to be prey to dangerous animals like snakes and other vile creatures habitat in overgrown environments.
“In our dormitories, we are afraid to even open doors to let in the fresh cool breeze in this scorching heat as there might be hazardous elements that can make their way into our rooms and some of our dormitories do not have windows panes,” they said.


The students said they had noted that this had become a norm as every time they got back to the college, they would find it in such an appalling state.
 They said the administration only gave the support staff a green light to clean the college when they were in class and the roaring machines would disturb their rest and study sessions.


They said the constant challenge in cutting the grass had always been said to be lack of petrol, but they disagreed with that as they believe d that the inventory for petrol should be placed early every year so that when they returned to the college, the lawn would have been cleared.


Blamed


They blamed the leadership of the college which they said was always fit and ready to punish and suspend students for petty misdemeanours but failed to do simple things like clearing the college and making it ready for students’ return.


Meanwhile, when reached for a comment on the matter, ECOT Principal Nomcebo Nhlengetfwa said the matter was not yet reported to them.
“Basengaketi kutobika, sisengakayiva,” stated Nhlengetfwa.


When asked if it was normal practice for the administration to wait for the students to report overgrowth prior to attending to it, she hung up and did not pick up the phone thereafter when attempts were made to reach her again. 

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