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Another school destroyed by strong winds

Torrential rains experienced in Matabeleland South have claimed another school after a whirlwind blew off the roofs of classrooms at Lubhangwe High School in Matobo South District.

This comes at a time when several schools in Matabeleland province have also been affected by the strong winds.

In September, the strong winds left a trail of destruction at Cyrene High School in Matobo District and Senondo Primary School in Gwanda.

Over the past week, the Meteorological Service Department (MSD) has warned of heavy rains in some parts of the country, Matabeleland South included, characterised by strong winds, hail storms, and thunderstorms.

In an interview with CITE, the school head, Khulekani Tshuma said the whirlwind left five buildings destroyed.

“It happened last week Friday early morning around 4 am when our area received heavy rains leaving two classrooms and three cottages destroyed.

“The rains were experienced before lessons started and no learner was hurt in the process,” said Tshuma.

He said some surrounding villagers were also affected.

“At least three-quarters of the surrounding villages were also affected, with two primary school-going boys losing their lives at the time,” said Tshuma.

The school head added that the school which has 221 learners in total lost 166 window panels.

“Other school blocks were also affected with 166 window panels all shuttered during the hail storm,” said the head.

“Our school was built just after 1980, we can say it is very old but as the administration, we try to renovate it here and there.

“We are appealing for those who can assist us as at the moment we need about 39 asbestos sheets and 166 window panes,” he said.

Tshuma said, “those who wish to assist can even send their contributions through our Bulawayo ZB bank branch, account number 4307113553200”.

When contacted for a comment, Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary, Tumisang Tabela said the Ministry is at the moment quantifying the number of affected schools.

“The Ministry is currently in the phase of getting statistics of how many schools have been affected then appeal to the treasury for funds to rehabilitate the affected schools. Communities are also doing what they can to help,” said Tabela.

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