A VIOLENT storm that pounded parts of Chitungwiza on Sunday left a trail of destruction, blowing off roofs from several houses and schools, especially in Seke.
Trees and electricity poles in the dormitory town also fell, leaving many residents with no power from Sunday night until Monday afternoon.
Authorities at Seke 7 and Seke 8 primary schools, which were the worst affected, have since engaged the Department of Public Works to assess the damage to classroom blocks, whose roofs were blown off by the gusty winds that came along with the heavy downpour.
A survey at Seke 7 Primary School revealed that at least 10 classroom blocks had been damaged.
Children at the school were on Monday learning in the open as some of the asbestos sheets were dangerously hanging on rooftops.
Parents were called for an urgent meeting at the school to map out the way forward in mobilising resources to repair the damage done by the heavy downpour.
Efforts to get a comment from the Promary and Secondary Education ministry officials in Chitungwiza were fruitless.
House owners whose roofs had been blown off expressed dismay, saying they would incur unexpected expenses at a time they were struggling financially.
Tracy Jachi from Unit J said: “Water gushed into my house and some of my property was damaged beyond repair. I have gone to the loan sharks to get the money to repair my house because if I do not do that, the weather is not predictable. It may rain again and blow off the remaining side.”
Another house owner said the effects of the El Nino-induced weather phenomenon were now real to ordinary citizens.
“It is something that we would just read about in the papers and ignore. This is a wake-up call that we need to prepare for the effects of climate change otherwise it could cost our lives,” David Cheru said.
Zimbabwe is currently reeling from the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon, caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean.
According to the Meteorological Services Department, the country is set to experience the worst El Nino effects in 25 years with expectations of extreme weather conditions such as drought, soaring temperatures, strong winds, flash flooding over short periods and hailstorms.