BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
THE lack of boarding facilities in Karoi district was exposed recently when 221 enumerators were forced to travel an estimated 380km in search of accommodation for census training.
The enumerators, who include teachers and other civil servants including the youth, were recruited for training that ends today ahead of the census that runs from April 21 to April 30.
Some trainees from Kariba rural under Chiefs Mola, Negande, Musambakaruma, among others travelled to Chinhoyi where there are boarding facilities for the training – a distance of about 380km.
Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (ZimStats) spokesperson Mercy Chidemo confirmed that the organisation struggled to find accommodation for enumerators for the training in some districts such as Karoi.
‘‘They (enumerators) will be going back to their areas tomorrow (today) as the census begins on April 21. There are training centres in various districts across the country. Some are at boarding and day schools depending on distances,’’ Chidemo said.
Former Education minister Fay Chung said it was disturbing that government has failed since 1980 to ensure that every district has a boarding facility.
“Government has no money but every district must have at least one boarding that is not fancy and expensive. If a district does not have such a facility, then the local Member of Parliament needs to lobby through Parliament and the minister concerned,” she said.
Chung estimated at least US$2 million is required for a 14-classroom boarding school with other facilities. The upcoming census is the fifth since independence, the last having been conducted in 2012.
Primary and Secondary ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said: “As for boarding facilities, plans are underway to meet demand.”
“Red Cross mobilised volunteers who helped in receiving both the casualties and the bodies from the scene of the accident in Chipinge while they also fuelled two ambulances to transport patients to Mutare Provincial Hospital,” Chikukwa.
“We also established a restoration of family links desks in Chipinge to support families to connect or know the fate of their missing relatives, including minors. In addition, the families have also been provided with food.”
Chikukwa said ZRCS established a post at the Mutare Provincial Hospital where relatives of the deceased and injured passengers were receiving counselling and psychological support.
He said the Red Cross also supported the Mutare Provincial Hospital with medical consumables and drugs to assist the accident victims.
“Our medical personnel led by ZRCS clinical director Joel Tapi, nurses, local volunteers and staff are stationed at Mutare Provincial Hospital where they are giving necessary support,” Chikukwa said.