Severe hailstorm hits Zaka district, Zimbabwe

Severe hailstorm hits Zaka district, Zimbabwe

At least 10 schools were extremely damaged after a hailstorm pummelled parts of the Zaka district in Masvingo province, Zimbabwe. The hailstorm took place last week, said Zaka District schools inspector James Chidzurira.

In an interview last Friday, October 11, 2019, Chidzurira said the affected schools had since gathered detailed reports about the damages and certain needs. "We urgently need to facilitate the reconstruction of some of the schools that were destroyed by a hailstorm last week," he stated.

According to Chidurira, the worst affected areas were Tsiga Secondary, Mudzara Primary, Magura Primary, Mutimwi Primary, and Mutsambwa. "We are appealing to Government and other development partners to intervene, to avert this serious crisis faced by both communities and pupils."

Bikita's district development coordinator Bernard Hadzirabwi, who is also a chairperson of the Civil Protection Unit Committee, said the hailstorm destroyed residential properties, leaving more than 100 families homeless.

Hadzirabwi assured that the top priority is to provide tents as temporary shelters for affected households. “We have set up a disaster committee that will coordinate mobilization and extend assistance to the affected families."

He added that some of the victims were left with literally nothing, and are in a dire situation. Furthermore, he said that in wards 4 and 6, the magnitude of destruction from the storm is too massive.

"Most of the homes had their roofs blown off, while even schools also emerged worse off during the disaster. We are yet to quantify the total damage caused by the storm," Hadzirabwi said.

With this, Hadzirabwi said the government would help the communities rebuild their houses, but he also urged development partners and well-wishers to assist in the process.

Aside from damaged schools and homes, power and telephone lines were also destroyed.

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has been alerting villagers in Manicaland, Maabeleland South, Masvingo, Mindlands, and some parts of Mashonaland East for potential disaster.

Featured image credit: Hans Braxmeier/Pixabay

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