22 schools suffer damage from strong winds and storms: official

HARARE – At least 22 rural schools across the country have had their roofs blown off by strong winds during the ongoing rainy season, an official said.

The primary and secondary schools are dotted across the country but provinces such as Manicaland, Matabeleland South and Mashonaland Central are the hardest hit with infrastructure ranging from classrooms, ablution facilities and teachers’ houses being the most affected.

Farai Hokonya, the deputy director for response and operations in the Department of Civil Protection said the government was mobilising financial resources to repair the damaged infrastructure.

“The rainfall season has not been easy on some of our schools. So far, we have about 22 schools combining both primary and secondary schools that have faced a number of challenges owing to adverse weather conditions,” Hokonya revealed on Tuesday.

“The major challenges are the roofs blown off due to heavy winds that accompanied rains. Besides classrooms, some teachers’ houses also had roofs blown off. And that also goes for the toilets.”

He said government is raising funds to repair the damage.

“We’re also mobilising tents so that they can be used as temporary classrooms,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hokonya said at least eight people had also drowned.

“We still have people crossing flooded rivers and, unfortunately, we continue to record loss of life because of such behaviour. As of today, our death toll is now at eight,” he said.

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