BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
A HAILSTORM, which ploughed through Bulilima West over the weekend, destroyed entire classrooms at Ndolwane Primary School, leaving only one, with reports that yesterday pupils were turned away because there was no place to learn from.
Out of nine classrooms, eight had their roofs blown off. A teacher’s cottage had also its roof destroyed.
Ndolwane is about 100km north-west of Plumtree town in Bulilima district.
Reports said roof trusses and roofing sheets were strewn to distances of more than 50 metres.
However, no casualties were reported since the incident happened on a weekend when pupils were away.
The incident happened on Saturday afternoon. Some villagers also counted losses after the storm razed homesteads.
Bulilima Rural District Council chief executive officer John Brown Ncube yesterday confirmed the incident, saying they have dispatched a team to assess the damage.
“We got the information that Ndolwane Primary School was affected by the storm, but we don’t have much detail as of now. We have dispatched a team to investigate the matter,” Ncube said.
Matabeleland South deputy provincial education director Mathomula Nare said Shake Primary School in Gwanda North also faced a similar fate.
“We have received information about the damage at the school, but we don’t have information on the extent of the damage,” Nare said.
A Ndolwane villager said the entire school was destroyed and pupils were likely to stay home until the school has been repaired.
“As parents, we have agreed that it’s not safe for our children to go to school while it’s in that state. These are old buildings which were built close to 100 years ago. They needed to be renovated. It’s unsafe for our children to be in those structures,” she said.
The destruction came barely two days after another hailstorm swept through Lubhangwe in Matobo, leaving two children dead, 30 injured and 847 families affected.
In a report on ZBC, Department of Civic Protection in Matobo district said it is in the process of mobilising resources to assist the affected families.
Last week at Shashi Secondary School in Beitbridge, two teachers’ cottages, a laboratory and a classroom were destroyed by strong winds that followed heavy rains.
About 30 electricity power poles also fell in the vicinity of the school, thereby, cutting off power supplies. Shashi clinic’s solar field was also destroyed.
Several church buildings in Beitbridge ward 8, Maramani cluster, had their roofs blown away.