BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
CLASSROOM blocks in resettlement areas in Gweru district, built from pole and dagga, are prone to climate change-related disasters posing safety risks to schoolchildren, a government official has said.
Speaking in the Midlands capital last Friday at a district climate change meeting organised by the Climate Change Management Department (CCMD), Gweru district development co-ordinator Joram Chimedza said there was need rebuild the structures to avert disasters.
“In Gweru district, we still have pole and dagga thatched classroom blocks, particularly in resettlement areas,” Chimedza said.
“Over the years, the district (Gweru) has been facing climate change-related disasters such as hailstorms and floods. So given the structure of these blocks, there is a danger of climate change-related disasters and obviously our children we will be at risk.”
He added: “We need to rebuild such structures so that they can withstand the effects of climate change.”
Chimedza’s call comes at a time when the Midlands provincial education office recently revealed that a number of schools in the province were destroyed by floods.
Recently, classroom blocks and staff houses at Gambiza Primary School in Chiwundura were destroyed by a hailstorm.
The Gweru Department of Civil Protection, however, intervened and is building a state-of-the-art classroom and teachers’ accommodation.
CCMD director Washington Zhakata told the meeting that climate change-related disasters were costing government a lot of money, hence its (government) stance to come up with the department to strengthen districts and provinces to come up with their own disaster management plans.