Heavy rains destroy classrooms in Zambezi

Exam preparation has been disrupted at Kayuwo Primary School in the Kongola settlement of the Zambezi region, after a heavy storm caused extensive damage to seven mud-structured classrooms on Tuesday.

Additionally, the heavy rains also damaged two staff rooms and one teacher’s house.

Charlene Matakala, a teacher at the school, told The Namibian yesterday that the strong winds and heavy rains had them running around from approximately 16h00 on Tuesday until yesterday morning, in attempts to salvage what they could.

However, their attempts were mostly in vain, as classroom blocks accommodating about 320 grade 4 to 7 pupils were destroyed.

“It’s a really bad situation we are finding ourselves in, as we are starting with examinations on Friday. The heavy rain blew off the roofs of the facilities and destroyed everything inside, from the learning materials to the consistent accuracy (CA) marks of learners that we have already recorded. Our focus will now be divided between exam preparations and re-recording the CA marks, among other things,” she said.

She revealed that lessons will temporarily take place under trees until they receive tents from the regional directorate today (Thursday), while the teachers will sleep in the permanently structured classrooms.

“We were directed to continue with lessons while we wait for the tents to be put up. The possibility of rain is very high, so teachers do not want to take chances to sleep in their normal accommodation facilities, as they are made from mud and do not stand a chance when heavy rains hit,” she said.

Zambezi regional education director Jost Kawana described the situation as unfortunate and posing a challenge to teaching at the school.

“However, my team is on the ground to assess the extent of the damage. In the meantime, we will provide them with tents for teaching to continue,” he said.

Kongola constituency councillor Bennety Busihu urged villagers to take precautionary measures to minimise property damage during the rainy season.

He also advised villages to avoid being around trees or anything else that might fall on them after being blown loose by heavy winds.

“It’s really an unfortunate situation, as many people cannot afford to build proper structures that can withstand such extreme weather conditions due to poverty, and they fall victim. However, they must try whatever they can to minimise the risks, if possible,” he said.

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