The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporter
Hailstorms, lightning bolts and strong winds accompanying the current rains have so far claimed more than 20 lives, according to statistics compiled by the Civil Protection Unit (CPU).
Properties have also not been spared, with over 543 homesteads having been destroyed, including 69 schools and 11 public service buildings.
In one of the most unfortunate incidents, a seven-year-old boy from Komba Primary in Lupane District, Matabeleland North, lost his life after a hailstorm rammed the school. “Seven classroom blocks had windows and roofs extensively damaged,” said the CPU. “Three teachers’ cottages had their roofs blown away. One hundred and ninety-five window panes were damaged, (including) 230 desks, chairs, textbooks and exercise books. Food items were also damaged.”
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema said the inclement weather conditions had seriously affected learning. Government has begun the process of reconstructing the affected schools.
“We are doing what we can in terms of rebuilding those schools that have been destroyed, as well as providing temporary shelter for the children who are still in school,” he said.