Rains destroy houses, school

Fortunate Gora Mash West Correspondent
Heavy rains and strong winds destroyed houses, crops and a school in Raffingora, Zvimba District, last week. Electrical poles were uprooted, leaving most households without power, while roofing sheets at Raffingora Primary School were blown away.

Most farmers in the area are counting their losses after their crops, including matured irrigated tobacco, was affected. Ward 16 Councillor Farai Murengwa said the heavy storm saw roofs at most buildings being blown away.

“The heavy rains lasted for about an hour, but left a trail of destruction after electrical poles were uprooted, iron and asbestos roofing sheets were removed at Raffingora Primary School and the caretaker’s house at the secondary school,” he said. Cllr Murengwa also had her tobacco crop destroyed.

“My tobacco had its leaves affected,” he said. “I am no longer expecting anything, but I thank God that my partner, Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco Company, had insured the crop, so I will be compensated.

“My main worry is on the schools because they are not insured. Insurance is something that school headmasters should think about seriously.” A house belonging to Mrs Evelyn Madenyika and a hectare of her tobacco crop were also destroyed by the storm.

“This year has been bad for Raffingora as we experienced several losses in another recent storm,” said Mrs Madenyika. The storm did not spare one of Raffingora’s popular entertainment spots, Gumbo Night Club, which was partially destroyed after roofing sheets were ripped off by the strong winds.

By the end of last week, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority workers were making frantic efforts to restore power supplies. Zvimba Rural District Council (RDC) chief executive officer Mr Peter Hlohla said the damage to schools as a result of heavy rains and hailstorm was now common in Zvimba District. He said council encouraged schools to insure against loss or damage due to natural disasters.

“Heavy rains, hailstorm, strong winds are disasters, which cannot be prevented, but what we can do is to set up measures of restoration when they happen by insuring the properties,” said Mr Hlohla.

Zvimba RDC, Mr Hlohla said, was rebuilding four schools, which were destroyed by the rains to ensure that they were restored before schools open tomorrow. He said the schools were not insured, which was putting a financial strain on council.

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