Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hailstorm leaves trail of destruction in Chipata

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A heavy downpour that was experienced for close to 50 minutes in Chipata on Wednesday has left a trail of destruction in various parts of the city. Over 50 structures in Kapata ward have been damaged following the heavy downpour that developed into a hailstorm.

The affected structures had their roofs blown off while wall fences collapsed and various valuables damaged. Among the affected is the Chipata Cheshire Homes which houses 30 children living with disabilities.

Ten computers and learning materials were completely soaked after the Chipata Cheshire Homes roof was blown by a hailstorm. Several houses that are yet to be counted had their roofs blown off.

In the Showgrounds area, several houses were flooded following the heavy rains. Kapata Ward Councillor, Matthews Kachali, is calling on the government and other well-wishers to come to the aid of the affected people.

Mr Kachali said food supply is one of the items victims are in dire need of.

“I am appealing to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, and other well-wishers to come to the aid of the affected, especially with the provision of foodstuffs,” he said.

Meanwhile, some affected residents narrated the ordeal, with others describing it as a near-death experience. Kumbu Katumba narrated that he was almost hit by his bedroom door.

He said it took about 20 minutes for people to break the door and rescue him.

“Luckily, I was the only one home. Most of the property in the house has been damaged. The house was submerged in water,” he narrated.

Elsewhere, a classroom block at Munga primary and a wall fence at Anoya Zulu secondary school have been damaged in Chipata following heavy rains experienced in the city yesterday. District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Gabriel Chutu, has inspected the damage at the two schools.

At Munga primary school, Mr Chutu found a block of two classrooms had its roof off, while part of the wall fence at Anoya Zulu secondary school had also collapsed. Mr Chutu said he will meet with all the stakeholders, especially the area councillor, so that a solution can be found before schools open in a few weeks’ time.

He told ZANIS that the disaster is a setback to the Munga primary school that accommodates 2,000 learners from the township and surrounding areas. However, Mr Chutu is not happy with the contractor for not using the recommended materials in the construction of the classroom block.

“The construction is lacking a lot of things recommended when building, no brick force wire, weak blocks that easily break and not good materials,” he said.

Meanwhile, Munga Primary School management told the District Education Board Secretary that the contractor building the one by two classroom block has not returned after abandoning construction works sometime back.

The school management said they only saw the contractor once and do not know where to find his company.

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