Zaka villagers appeal for assistance to repair storm-damaged school


Zaka (New Ziana) –Villagers around Danda Primary School in Zaka, about 86 kilometers southeast of Masvingo town are appealing for assistance to repair nine classrooms whose roofs were blown off during a storm last year.

The storm struck on November 23 leaving the school, which is about 50 kilometers from Roy Turnoff along Chiredzi Road, with only a single classroom block.

The walls of the block have since developed huge cracks leading to fears that it could soon crumble if the heavy rains persist.

“We were left with four cracked classrooms which were accommodating the writing classes last year. With the heavy rains which are falling almost every day, I do not think the building will last long,” said area councilor Cornelius Mapuranga said.

The situation is so desperate that the local traditional leaders are mobilizing villagers to pay the equivalent of US$0, 50 towards procurement of roofing materials.

“Time is running out and there is no response from the responsible authorities hence the headmen are taking part in raising funds. Nevertheless, the villagers’ contributions alone will not repair the damaged 13 classrooms. We need government intervention,” said the ward coordinator Mupinga Mupinga.

“Only one block has remained standing but we have more than three hundred learners at the school. If schools are declared open, I have no idea how to we will handle the situation as the community.”

“Immediately after the incident we sent the headmaster to submit a report to Zaka Rural District Council, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Department of Social Welfare and they said they were working on it but they have not yet reacted as per our expectations.”

School head, Saul Vakai said he had made several follow ups with the responsible Ministry and ZRDC with the later indicating that it was incapacitated and unable to guarantee assistance in the repair of the school.

While Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education officials indicated that action would be taken when they visited the school to assess the damage, the ZRDC said it was hamstrung for resources as it was catering for other cyclone victims in other parts of the district.

Vakai said he was at a loss as to how the school authorities would handle the situation in the event of schools opening for the first term which was delayed after the government ordered a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid -19 following a spike in cases.
New Ziana

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