With Chimanimani being the worst affected District in terms of devastation and harrowing experiences owing to cyclone Idai, there are more areas mired by the effects of the devil incarnate, Idai.
One such area is Chipinge. Chipinge and Chimanimani share a common border and all parts of Chipinge felt the devastation of the cyclone in one way or the other. The effects and magnitudes in Chipinge are lesser though than those in Chimanimani.
At the border with Mozambique, in the far ends of Chipinge District lies a small but promising school that started in 2002 as a satellite or B school as it is popularly known. The school is Foroma Primary School.
The school had for the greater part of the new Millennium been a pole and dagga school without any meaningful pieces of infrastructure or paraphenalia to write home about. With the passage of time, the school managed to construct 3 modest classroom blocks and a smaller ECD room that had become the pride of the community.
Fast forward 2019, the 14th of March came as a trauma. Of the 3 classroom blocks that were now the pride of the community in and around Foroma, 2 of those classrooms had their roofs blown off by the gusty Idai winds leaving shells standing naked, in stark contrast to the blocks that had now become a mast of hope for better learning facilities for the populace.
One block had half of its roof destroyed with roofing sheets either torn or missing as they were presumably flown to, God knows where.
The painful part is, the school being by the border with Mozambique, has most of its learners coming from the Mozambican side which is also an area that was gravely affected since it’s in the path to Chimanimani. These learners from Mozambique can no longer attend classes as they had their families either scattered by Idai, livestock and livelihoods destroyed or being incapacitated by hunger induced by the cyclone that destroyed grain reserves and matured maize and small grain fields.
Luckily of the 50 confirmed Student casualties that passed on in both Chimanimani and Chipinge, no deaths where recorded among Foroma Primary School learners .
Learning has resumed in the roofless classroom blocks as they await reconstruction and repairs to commence.
The 3 kilometer dirt road linking the school with the main road was torn away rendering it impassable with teachers having to endure this distance 2 fold each day as vehicles cannot navigate to the school.
This is just a solitary case of the effects of Idai in Chipinge with more cases being either similar or even worse than the case of Foroma Primary School.
For Millennium Development Goals to be achieved, there is need to work flat out in restoring all the infrastructure that was destroyed by Idai. Without this reconstruction drive Zimbabwe will surely lag behind other nations that are working to better the lives of their citizenry with regards to offering basic quality education.
Together we can make a difference. Let’s support the repair and reconstruction efforts underway in schools that where either destroyed or completely washed away. Education is a basic right and together we can inspire a generation by constructing or repairing destroyed schools
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