HomeEditorial CommentFlood victims deserve better

Flood victims deserve better

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REPORTS that hundreds of children whose parents were displaced by the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam floods in February have to walk close to 40km every day because there are no schools close by to serve them are disturbing.

Over 18 000 villagers were dumped at the Naunetsi Ranch in Mwenezi without the government providing necessary amenities after they were forced out of the Chingwizi transit camp.

There is only a makeshift secondary school that has to cater for the newly-resettled people.

Only 50 teachers cater for the more than 2 500 primary and secondary school students enrolled at Nyuni Primary and Secondary, as well as Tokwe Mukosi Primary and Chingwizi Primary schools.

They also face water shortages as boreholes drilled in the area run dry in summer.

However, it is the long distances the children have to travel to school every day that is a cause for concern.

The children have already suffered a lot living at the overcrowded Chingwizi camp for most of the year.

A survey by the Progressive Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) early this year revealed that most of the girls at the camp had lost hope of furthering their education and were resorting to early marriages.

The government as usual ignored the report despite the red flag raised by PTUZ on the moral decadence at the camp and the deprivation of opportunities to the children.

In a few weeks, some of the students who have to travel over 20km to school every day would be writing final examinations and clearly chances that they would pass are almost zero.

The government has ensured that a whole generation of children from the Tokwe-Mukosi primary Dam basin is denied their basic right to education.

It also worth noting that the rainy season is drawing close without authorities indicating that they would resolve the problems besetting the flood victims. Some have chosen to go back to their villages on the flood-prone dam basin and this can only be a recipe for disaster.

The government needs to urgently address the problems bedevilling the flood victims to guard against bigger social problems it would not be able to address in future.

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