Katima Mulilo-Five schools in the Zambezi Region have temporarily closed due to heavy floods that have swamped schools in the low-lying areas following heavy rains that have characterised the past few months.
Schools that have closed down are: Muzii Combined, Nankutwe Combined, Mpukano Primary, Namiyundu Primary and Ikaba Combined .
Although the acting Director of Education in Zambezi Region, Joost Kawana, has confirmed the closure of four schools so far, New Era is, however, reliably informed that the school management at Ikaba Combined School resolved to close down yesterday. This, after floodwater surrounded the school, and teachers and learners had to wade through overflowing streams to get to school.
The community hostel, where the boys had pitched their tents, has also been submerged by the floodwater, so learners have no place to stay.
Kawana said 47 Grade 9 and 10 learners from Muzii were relocated to Lusese, where they have resumed classes.
“We only relocated Grade 9 and 10 because those are external classes. The understanding is that when schools close… they can do the compensation teaching,” he said.
Kawana explained that learners from Nankutwe were not relocated because they did not go on holiday during the two-week mid-term break.
“They used that time to compensate for the loss. Therefore, for them they are fine; they did their job,’’ he said. He added that learners and teachers are being provided with food and sanitation.
Despite the school closures, community members are reluctant to relocate for fear they would suffer if they relocate, as government has not yet indicated whether it would food relief. The government has provided free maize meal, cooking oil and other basics in previous relocations.
“Maybe, if the government is well prepared to provide everything for us, then we would not have a problem to relocate. They even struggled to relocate the learners, so how will they be able to relocate the masses?” questioned the chairperson of the village development committee of Muzii, Joseph Lyungu.
He added that people are happy to stay in the villages and benefit from the resources like fish, which come in abundance with flood rather than die of hunger if they relocate. Other areas that are affected by heavy flooding are: Schuckmannsburg, Masikili, Ivilivinzi, Lisikili, Imukusi, Mbalasinte, Nsundwa and Nfoma.