By Sydney Mubaiwa
At least 10 schools in Zaka District were destroyed by a hailstorm that hit parts of Masvingo Province last week, Zaka District schools inspector Mr James Chidzurira has said.
In an interview on Friday, Mr Chidzurira said the affected schools had since compiled reports detailing the various damages and their immediate needs.
“We urgently need to facilitate the reconstruction of some of the schools that were destroyed by a hailstorm last week,” he said.
“The worst affected are Tsiga Secondary, Mudzara Primary, Magura Primary, Mutimwi Primary and Mutsambwa.
“We are appealing to Government and other development partners to intervene, to avert this serious crisis faced by both communities and pupils.”
According to Bikita’s district development coordinator Mr Bernard Hadzirabwi, who also chairs the Civil Protection Unit Committee, the hailstorm also left more than 100 families in the area homeless.
He said the provision of tents for temporary shelter was now their top priority to mitigate the plight of the affected families.
“We have set up a disaster committee that will coordinate mobilisation and extend assistance to the affected families,” said Mr Hadzirabwi.
“Some of the victims were left with virtually nothing and they are in a dire situation.
“In Wards 4 and 6, the magnitude of destruction caused by the storm is too big.
“Most of the homes had their roofs blown off, while even schools also emerged worse off during the disaster.
“We are yet to quantify the total damage caused by the storm.”
Mr Hadzirabwi said Government would assist the communities rebuild their homes, but appealed to development partners and well-wishers to take part in the rebuilding process.
Zaka Central legislator Cde Davison Svuure said the highest number of affected schools were in his constituency.
He said other key infrastructure such as power and telephone lines were also extensively damaged.
The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has of late been calling on villagers in Manicaland, Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Midlands and parts of Mashonaland East to be on high alert for the disaster.