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Pupil dies as whirlwind destroys Lupane school

A grade One pupil reportedly died after a strong whirlwind blew away the roofs of classrooms and cottages at Komba Primary School in Lupane on Sunday leaving behind a trail of destruction.

The pupil was in one of the cottages where he resides with his mother who is employed at the school.

During the weekend some parts of the country experienced heavy rains which were characterised by thunderstorms and lightning.

Matabeleland North Provincial Education Director, Jabulani Mpofu confirmed the incident to CITE.

“Yes, a grade one learner indeed lost his life following a strong whirlwind that blew away 7 classrooms and 3 cottages,” said Mpofu.

“His mother was one of the paraprofessionals in the school who resided by the school cottages and the mother is in hospital.

Mpofu said about 27 homesteads in the area were also affected.

“Even the surrounding areas were also affected, about 27 homesteads are in a dilemma,” he added.

“Several partners have however come on board to assist. We have partners such as social services, World Vision, Kusile Rural District amongst other partners. Some have offered transport for funeral arrangements while others have offered grain for learners,” said Mpofu.

He added that there is a need to rehabilitate schools during the rainy season.

“There is a need to rehabilitate schools especially during the rainy season, check if nails are still strong. We also advise school children not to cross flooded rivers during this season.

“We are also appealing for others who would like to assist as we will need building material to rehabilitate the school even though the Ministry has chipped in,” he said.

Lupane District Officer- in- charge of Learner Welfare, Psychological Services, and Special Needs Education Department, Leon Tshuma added that several learners have no learning classrooms.

“A strong whirlwind blew away 7 classrooms and 3 classrooms. Learners have no classrooms to use. We lost a grade one pupil and the mother is in Hospital, St Lukes, I think.

“We are looking for people who can assist with building material to rehabilitate the school,” said Tshuma.  

This incident comes after another strong whirlwind blew off the roofs of classrooms and hostels at Cyrene High School in Matabeleland South, leaving one pupil injured.

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