How schools are coping with disaster aftermath

In the evening hours of Monday, some residents in Nyakabanda Sector of Nyarugenge District are staring rather apprehensively at the cloudy skies, fearing that heavy downpour might hit the area again.

In the evening hours of Monday, some residents in Nyakabanda Sector of Nyarugenge District are staring rather apprehensively at the cloudy skies, fearing that heavy downpour might hit the area again.

This is one of the areas that were most affected by heavy rains during the weekend in Kigali.

 

On Saturday night, heavy rains claimed the lives of three people and destroyed homes and public infrastructure, including roads, and schools, and farmland.

 

Statistics indicate that at least 843 houses were destroyed countrywide.

 

Back to Nyakabanda, children are returning home from school on Monday, the first day of the academic year countrywide.
Kagasunzu Primary School is among the three schools in the area that were devastated by the rains.

Roofs were blown off four classrooms and a washrooms block. The debris is strewn all over the compound. The school administration is struggling to fix destruction.

The situation is not any different at the nearby APACE Secondary School.

“We were fortunate that no student was hurt because they were not here. Meanwhile, since students are back from holidays, we are trying to repair one part of classrooms with our own resources,” said Emile Senkware, the headmaster at APACE, which also has a boarding section.

He said that the school has already spent about Rwf3m to buy some construction materials, adding that total repairs will require over Rwf5m which the school is struggling to get.

A short distance away from APACE, another primary school, Groupe Scolaire Kabusunzu, was also affected and is yet to embark on reconstruction with school authorities decrying financial constraints.

According to Felicien Munyampeta, Head of GS Kabusunzu, students are for now required to squeeze themselves to ensure they are accommodated in the available structures until the affected classrooms will be fixed.

He said they have already written to the ministry in charge of disasters and local officials for support in the reconstruction.

Philippe Habinshuti, the director of disaster response and recovery at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDMAR), said that this fiscal year, they earmarked over Rwf300 million for such relief interventions.

He said that they would soon start a reconstruction plan for the schools and other infrastructure in conjunction with the City of Kigali.

Meanwhile, Rwanda Meteorology Agency, on Monday, released fresh weather forecast (January 21-31) according to which there will be light rain with thunder in different parts of the country.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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