Bridge shuts out pupils

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MUTARE — Over 200 pupils at Mwoyoweshumba primary and secondary schools in Mutasa Central had their first term prematurely ending last week after the footbridge the community used was swept away by flash floods.

OBEY MANAYITI

In separate interviews with NewsDay on Sunday, villagers from Zarika, Mvere and Chidinzwa villages pleaded with the corporate world to help them repair the bridge at the crocodile-infested Honde River to allow their children to resume classes.

“The bridge was swept away on Wednesday night and since then our children have not been going to school,” a villager Susan Masira said.

“This river (Honde River) is crocodile-infested and it will be risky for us to allow the children to cross through the river to go to school. Moreover, it will be risky for them to cross this flooded river as they might drown.”

Masira added that the collapsed bridge had also denied them access to the business centre.

The heavy rains have reportedly washed away crop fields, houses and livestock, throwing the community in to poverty.

“Imagine that we cannot cross to do business on the other side. We cannot go to the grinding mill or to buy groceries. The biggest challenge for these three villages is that we cannot access the clinic, Mwoyoweshumba Clinic. It is recommended that under conditions like these we need a proper and accessible medical centre where we can be helped with ease,” another villager Thomas Nyabadza said.

The villagers have since been asked to contribute $1 each for the construction of a makeshift bridge while Mutasa Central MP Trevor Saruwaka and Senator Patrick Chitaka have pledged to mobilise resources for the construction of a new bridge.

Torrential rains have also left a trail of destruction in the Midlands province. The heavy rains left a trail of destruction in Mberengwa district where they have destroyed bridges leading to the district’s major hospitals.

Roads leading to Mnene, Musume and Jacker hospitals were seriously damaged by the heavy rains making them inaccessible.

Teachers and pupils have been cut off from Chegato High School in Mberengwa after low-lying bridges were swept away.

The rains have also cut off Mberengwa from Zvishavane as the road has been badly damaged and motorists were now using the Gwanda route to get to Mberengwa.

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