A total number of five schools and several homesteads from five villages in Gwanda District, Matabeleland South Province, were reportedly destroyed by violent rains which were accompanied by heavy winds Tuesday this week, authorities have said.

According to preliminary investigations conducted, while an unascertained number of homesteads were adversely affected by the volatile rains, a cumulative figure of four primary schools and one secondary school from the district were left counting the losses following the heavy downpour.

The rains which pounced the area on Tuesday at around 5pm, had long been awaited for by the hard-pressed villagers who were hoping to kickstart preparations for the new cropping season, but what was supposed to be the showers of blessings later turned out to be an untimely wrath on the same inhabitants.

Ward 1 Councilor Stanford Nkala revealed to the state media that the destructive rains also resulted in two children being injured, while a number of families drawn from an equal number of villages was also severely affected by the rains.

According to Cllr Nkala, the two injured minors were admitted to Gwanda Provincial Hospital while a number of families were left stranded after their food, household property and homes were destroyed by the rains.

“Rains that were received on Tuesday evening have caused severe damage in five villages in our ward. The affected villages are Masholomoshe, Nkazhe, Matshiya, Matshetsheni and Magedleni Villages. Five schools were affected as roofs of some of the classroom blocks were blown off namely Masholomoshe Primary, Nkazhe Primary and Secondary as well as Matshiya and Matshetsheni Primary Schools,” said Cllr Nkala.

saddening… Inside one of the damaged classroom blocks at Nkazhe Primary School

“Several homesteads were damaged as roofs were blown off or walls collapsed. Some families have been left in the open as all their huts were damaged and they are in desperate need of accommodation. Some families don’t have food as their supplies were soiled by the rain and they are in desperate need of intervention,” he said.

Although the collation of figures on the damages caused by the rains are still underway, Cllr Nkala said according to his findings so far, 32 homesteads were affected in Nkazhe Village while statistical information with regards to affected households in other villages were not yet obtainable.

In an interview with one state-run daily, Acting Gwanda District Development Coordinator (DDC), Thulani Moyo said a team had been deployed to assess the extent of the damages.

“Five villages in Ward 1 were affected by rains which hit the area on Tuesday. A team has been deployed to assess the extent of the damaged and we are yet to compile a detailed report on the number of households and schools that have been affected so that we also have an appreciation of the kind of intervention needed,” said Moyo.

state media
additional reporting: Zwnews