Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
The rehabilitation of schools damaged by rains and heavy winds has begun after the Government released money under the Disaster Funds, while some individuals, both in Zimbabwe and outside have pledged support.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing heavy rains and winds since the start of the rainy season, and the situation was worsened by Tropical Depression Ana, which hit the country for the better part of last week.
Manicaland province has received the highest rainfall in the country with some areas recording above 200mm.
The Department of Civil Protection (DCP) has indicated that over 282 houses and buildings were damaged by Tropical Depression Ana last week.
Nyanga and Chimanimani were hit hard.
In Mutasa, Bonda High School had a staff house’s roof blown off while houses at Sheba Primary School, Mandeya 2 School, Chida Zembe School, St Peter’s Mandeya School were also damaged.
In an interview yesterday, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson, Mr Taungana Ndoro, confirmed the release of funds.
“The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education (Dr Evelyn Ndlovu) was assessing some of the schools physically. We have since released the Disaster Funds to rehabilitate some of the schools before they are opened,” he said.
Mr Ndoro added that Government was working with some organisations, legislators and councillors, among others, in rehabilitating the affected schools.
In Nyanga, Nyafaru High School was affected as four blocks had roofs blown off and learners sitting for their final examinations were marooned as rivers and tributaries overflowed.
The headmaster of the boarding school was asked by the DCP to take care of the affected day scholars to ensure no one was swept away.
Teachers at Keche Primary School in Muzarabani also received tents from the United Nations, through the DCP, after their houses were damaged. The tents have a capacity of four rooms.
Schools open for face-to-face classes next Monday as Covid-19 infection levels continue falling.
Last week, Acting President Constantino Chiwenga, while extending Level Two lockdown measures including public masking and social distancing, relaxed some measures including extension of trading hours.
The peak of average infections was on December 14 with 4 580, which fell rapidly until the final week of December when it plateaued for more than a week at around 1 500 a day and triggered the delay in opening schools in the second week of January.