Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has urged all schools in the province to purchase Jojo water tanks for the safe storing of the precious liquid to be delivered to learning centres through bowsers at a time when the local authority is battling acute water shortages.
The city, which has perennial water challenges, is currently under a 144-hour water shedding schedule, having since decommissioned three of its six supply dams.
Speaking during the assessment of Bulawayo schools’ preparedness for the reopening following their premature closure in April as a result of COVID-19, outbreak, Mayor Solomon Mguni said water was important in the fight against the pandemic, hence schools will be provided the now scarce liquid through bowsers.
“Water is an essential component in the fight against COVID-19; we urge our schools both private and the public to complement the efforts of the city in rolling out bowsers by installing Jojo tanks,” said Mguni.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Cain Mathema advised the local authority to liaise with responsible authorities to ensure thermometers nurses are availed to schools on the opening day.
“If it is decided that 20 schools will be opened in the city, the health department will have to be present in each school,” said Mathema.
Permanent Secretary in the same ministry, Tumisang Thabela, said prior to the reopening of schools, teachers will be trained on the procedures to safeguard children.
“As part of our preparations, at least two weeks before we open schools, health coordinators will undergo thorough training so that when pupils come back to school processes required to screen the children would have been put in place,” said Thabela.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), has partnered the ministry and promised to donate masks to teachers who are part of their association.
“As ZIMTA in this province we want to partner with the Ministry; we are here to support each other during this COVID-19,” said Wilson Mangena.
“The national executive of ZIMTA is giving teachers the 60 000 masks that we are creating at Ehlekwini Vocational Training Institute to 52 members with the extra masks to be given to other stakeholders who cannot afford to buy.”