Reconstruction and repair works on schools that were seriously damaged by torrential rains in Katuba Constituency have commenced and will be completed soon.
Chibombo District Commissioner (DC) Felix Mang’wato confirmed to ZANIS in an interview that works on schools had begun and were progressing well.
Mr. Mang’wato said the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) had engaged the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to rehabilitate the five damaged schools.
He dispelled assertions that the rehabilitation of the schools has been necessitated by the forthcoming Katuba parliamentary bye-elections.
"The physical structures of these schools are weakened. They are very old and they have been badly affected by the heavy rains," he explained.
Mr. Mang’wato said the schools under rehabilitation are Kalulu, Musopelo, Katete, Chipeso and Namayani whose roof for a one by three classroom block and of a teacher’s house, were recently blown off.
He disclosed that DMMU will also work on putting up bridges on crossing points that have been washed away or are nonexistent.
The District Commissioner added that Chibombo district will lobby to have schools constructed within a radius of 10 kilometres to enable children access school within short and reachable distances in the district.
He attributed the poor performance in examinations at grade seven and nine levels to pupils abandoning school midway due to long distances and the demands of a farming community on boy child labour as well as pressures on girl children to go into early marriages.
On Tuesday this week, Vice President Guy Scott directed the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to immediately repair all the damaged schools and river cross points in Katuba area.