Hailstorm wreaks havoc in Zaka, Bikita

Zimbabwe

Sydney Mubaiwa Masvingo Correspondent

At least 10 schools in Zaka district were destroyed by a hailstorm that hit parts of Masvingo province last week.

In an interview on Friday, Zaka District Schools Inspector James Chidzurira, said the affected schools have since compiled reports detailing the damage and their immediate needs.

“We urgently need to facilitate the reconstruction of some of the schools that were destroyed by a hailstorm last week,” said the official.

“The worst affected institutions are Tsiga Secondary, Mudzara Primary, Magura Primary, Mutimwi Primary and Mutsambwa.We are appealing for 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.

The senior civil servant said the provision of tents for temporary shelter is 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 visited by the storm is too big. Most of the homes had their roofs blown off while schools also emerged worse off during the disaster.”

He said Government will 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 has encouraged villagers in Manicaland, Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Midlands and parts of Mashonaland East province to be on high alert for violent storms.