Storm leaves trail of destruction in Mberengwa

November 25, 2021

VINCENT MHENE

Two schools in Mberengwa district in the Midlands Province had their roofs blown off while other infrastructures were destroyed by heavy winds and rains this week, Business Times can report.

The schools that were destroyed are Mbirashava and Ruraugwe schools in Mberengwa East.

Some churches and homesteads were also destroyed.

“We have a disaster that befell us in Mberengwa in my constituency because of the rains that are falling, which are accompanied by strong winds and lightning.

We have two schools so far I have been informed that they were damaged by the storm on Monday,” Mberengwa East legislator Marko Raidza told Business Times.

He said that they were still assessing the extent of the destruction, but preliminary indications were that the schools lost roofs and homes had walls damaged.

“We have a school called Mbirashava where the roof of one classroom block was blown off by winds, while another school in Ruraugwe community and a church in the same area were also affected.

We have two homesteads that were affected and also some electricity poles fell because of the storm.”

Raidza said the destruction of school infrastructure had affected preparations by Grade 7 learners for the ZIMSEC exams, which are set to start on Monday next week.

He said he would be engaging the Mberengwa District Civil Protection Unit (CPU), Mberengwa Rural District Council and the Mberengwa District Development Coordinator over the incident.

“Right now, we are busy gathering information to determine other areas where destruction could have happened so that we inform the CPU, our council and the DDC so that they activate the local CPU committee and try to find ways to assist the affected learners considering that these are primary

schools and there will be Grade 7 exams soon,” Raidza said.

He encouraged villagers in Mberengwa to heed weather warnings from the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) and to take safety precautionary measures during times of thunderstorms.

He added that they should also ensure they protect their livestock from extreme weather conditions.

Widespread thunderstorms were recorded across the country on Tuesday, with places such as West Nicholson in Matabeleland South receiving 74mm and Zvishavane recording 32mm of rainfall, according to a weather update from the MSD.

The Met department forecast Midlands Province to be “partly cloudy and warm with chances of late afternoon thundershowers” today.

The rains that fell this week have left some rivers flowing in Mberengwa and the development has led to some roads becoming impassable due to a lack of bridges.

The rains came at a time when many roads that were destroyed by heavy rains during the 2020/21 season had not been rehabilitated.

The government in February this year declared all roads to be a state of national disaster and shortly thereafter launched an Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme to repair some of the badly damaged

roads.

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