SHARJAH // Parents and children waded through muddy water and flooded car parks to reach school on Tuesday as rain lashed much of the country.
Water pooled at the entrances and a lack of drainage systems left water standing for hours.
In the Muwaileh area of Sharjah, muddied parents struggled to carry their children to classes.
“I usually park my car opposite the school due to the traffic and I cross the road. But the moment I got out of the car, I found myself standing in mud, my shoes and my trousers were both soaked,” said Jordanian Shireen Al Younis, 34, who was dropping her son and daughter at Rosary School.
Elham Tarkawi, a Lebanese mother of two, said parents helped each other reach the entrance.
“After I dropped off my children, I helped some mothers struggle to get their kids across 200 metres of mud,” said the 38-year-old.
Ahmed Shahin, 40, from Syria, said the area around his children’s school turns into a swamp each time it rains.
“I spoke to my school management and suggested that they collect Dh50 from each parent, and I assure you, parents would be happy to participate in solving this irritating problem,” he said.
Aidah Omar, 38, said she returned home to change her clothes after dropping her daughter off in grade one.
“It’s bad enough that the roads are all jammed, now I have to drive at least 30 minutes to go back home and change my clothes, look at me, how can I go like this to work,” said Ms Aidah.
Sister Sawsan Badr, Principal of Rosary School, said the area in front of their school has been levelled to alleviate the problem.
“We have done it twice at our expense to ease the burden on our pupils and their parents. We have requested several times from the authorities to fix this problem and we will push again for a solution,” she said.
Nasreen Banu, Principal of Gulf Asian English School, also urged the Sharjah authorities to act after a long winter of adverse weather.
“This area needs a better water drainage system, as soon as it rains the water forms pools, and the traffic piles up and causes pupils to be late to their classes.
“We will contact the authorities to find a solution for this problem, which is continuous during the rainy season,” she said.
A spokesman from Sharjah Municipality said emergency teams and water pumps were deployed on Tuesday to clear flooded roads across the emirate.
“As for sandy areas and roads, the municipality re-levels those areas after the rainy season, in all residential and commercial areas of the emirate,” he said.