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THIRTY pupils in Mberengwa have failed to return home from school since February 22 because of floods which left three vital bridges destroyed and roads impassable.
Scores of pupils are also said to have stopped going to school because of flooded rivers and extensively damaged roads in the district.
This was said by the District Administrator for Mberengwa Mr White Nkoma yesterday at a handover ceremony of goods donated to flood victims in Mberengwa and Zvishavane by Mimosa Mining Company in Zvishavane yesterday.
He said there was an urgent need for humanitarian aid as well as reconstruction of bridges so that life goes back to normal in the district.
Mr Nkoma said seven pupils who had been cut off from their families since February 22 were at Chegato High School. The other 23 attend Mutate High School and had been forced to seek residence at homesteads close to the school.
“Mberengwa District was hard hit by the floods which resulted in the destruction of three vital bridges namely Chizungu-Phonex, Zverenje and Chegato-Jeka bridges which are all along Mwenezi River.
“The bridges have seen communities being cut off from schools, clinics and this has resulted in the marooning of pupils from their homesteads. We have seven day scholars who can’t go back to their homesteads because of impassable roads, flooded rivers and bridges that were destroyed. These pupils have not been back to their families since February 22,” he said.
Mr Nkoma said the situation was dire at Chegato High School which did not have electricity after power lines were swept away.
“As a result there is no water at the school because there is no power,” he said.
Mr Nkoma said a total of 200 homesteads were affected by the floods.
He said in Buchwa area, 100 homesteads were destroyed.
Mimosa Mining Company executive chairman Mr Winston Chitando said they felt the need to assist villagers in the community they operate from.
“We have seen that what we have raised today is not enough to cover the needs of the flood victims so we are going to host a fundraising dinner in Harare where we are going to invite our partners to contribute in cash and kind towards the flood victims,” he said.
Mr Chitando said they were donating 20 tonnes of maize, five tonnes of sugar beans, 10 tonnes of soya chunks, two tonnes of potatoes, two tonnes of onions, 1 000 blankets and grocery for 400 families.
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development Cde Walter Chidhakwa said Cabinet had agreed to partner with mining companies to repair infrastructure that was destroyed by the floods.
“We are going to enter into a long term partnership with respective mines in the respective areas so that they assist in the reconstruction of bridges, schools, clinics that were affected by floods in their areas,” he said.
Minister Chidhakwa commended Mimosa Mining Company for donating to those affected by the floods. He urged other mining companies to emulate Mimosa by assisting in the communities they operate from. Patrick Chitumba,chronicle