Flash floods hit Gokwe North.

File pic: Floods

LOW-LYING communities in Gokwe North district in the Midlands province have been hit by flash floods following heavy rains that have been pounding most parts of the country in recent days.

There are also reports that major rivers have broken their banks, with communities living along the banks of Ume River being the worst affected.

The country has been receiving heavy downpours, and this is expected to continue until the end of this week, according to the Meteorological Services Department.

Learning material, building material and furniture worth thousands of dollars were destroyed last Thursday at Mutimuri Primary School 9 under Chief Chireya.

Authorities at the school said 80 bags of cement, 77 zinc roofing sheets and 20x20-litre buckets of water were swept away by the floods.

“About three quarters of the textbooks donated by Unicef have been destroyed as well as other textbooks that were immersed in water,” the school said in a statement.

“Some food, clothes, mattresses, blankets, mobile phone gadgets and other items belonging to the teachers were also immersed in water, while others were swept away.”

The floods did not spare the school’s bathrooms, toilets and teachers’ cottages.

This is not the first time that floods have hit the school, which was built on the banks of Umbe River, a tributary to Ume River.

Four years ago, army helicopters had to airlift some teachers who had been marooned at the school after heavy rains hit the district.

“The only solution is to relocate the school from that area and build it away from the banks of the river,” said a villager in the area.

“The river shifted its course and is now flowing through the school.”

The school head Simbarashe Chisvuure referred NewsDay to the district schools inspector Douglas Samunyaka, who only confirmed the incident, but could not give further details.

He said provincial education director Jameson Machimbira was the best person to comment on the issue.

“The amount of precipitation is quite significant in both Gokwe North and Gokwe South districts, but I am yet to get a report on the amount of damage that the rains have caused, especially at this school that you are talking about in Gokwe North,” Machimbira said.

NewsDay has established that the heavy downpours being experienced in the district have also rendered most roads impassable.-Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe

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