A group of Zimbabweans living in the United Kingdom have partnered to raise funds to rebuild one of Nkayi’s poorest schools, Somakantana Primary School, which is in a deplorable state.
Somakantana Primary is in Ward 11 under Chief Sivalo’s jurisdiction.
The primary school has for the past two consecutive years produced a zero percent pass rate.
Led by Nkosi Ndlovu of Wolverhampton in the UK, the Nkayi Development Initiative is on a drive to raise $30 000 towards the rehabilitation of the school.
“Nkayi Development Initiative was formed in January 2017 but officially launched in Wolverhampton in May 2017. We are a group of people determined to develop Nkayi district, which is our birthplace and we are calling upon up others to partner us on our project to grow the district,” the initiative’s chairman noted.
Although the organisation has identified several developmental projects in the district, their main focus, for now, is to rebuild Somakantana.
“A few weeks ago friends posted pictures of some of the schools in Nkayi and in particular Somakantana primary. Vice Chairman of the initiative Nkosana Mthimkhulu visited the school on March 28 to see for himself the exact state of affairs at the school and what he saw pains us. The school is turning into ruins,” Ndlovu told CITE.
“The classrooms are heavily dilapidated and the floors are even turning into dust. Cracks on the wall widen fast, roofing is falling apart, which is a safety threat during the rainy season and the chalkboards are also damaged.
“There is no school furniture to talk about, no learning materials, no teaching aids and the teachers have no decent cottages. Not a proper play centre for the learners basically everything is in bad shape.”
Ndlovu also lamented the long distance walked by the pupils to fetch water from an unsafe source.
“Using the naked eye, one can see that the water is dirty and one also wonders how safe the children are as they can fall inside that well, not to mention trauma that comes as a result. It’s just unbelievable,” Ndlovu stated.
But this situation can be turned around if people put their heads together to revive Somakantana Primary, Ndlovu said.
“In addition to the rehabilitation projects we intend to carry out including Nkayi general hospital plus the water and sanitation situation in the district, we have decided to rebuild the school, raze it down. We will need $30 000 to accomplish this project. Instead of complaining, we can do something and change narrative that Nkayi is ‘Komnyama ubambile’ (a place of bad luck/darkness),” Ndlovu said.
He added that the initiative has been working well with members of parliament in the area and hoped they will continue doing so in order to fast track the rehabilitation of the school.
“We hope the MPs will do the same with this one and that they will help by signposting us to the relevant authorities in the district and Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education about the work we have to carry out.”
Although Ndlovu was unable to say how much has been raised so far, he confirmed the response from Zimbabweans in the UK was positive.
“The response has been tremendous and monies are coming in. We hope to rebuild the entire school, teachers’ cottages, a play centre and library by the end of 2019. One pound from many people will go a long way and once we have a fresh school, new furniture, books and decent housing for teachers then a good pass rate will be next,” the chairman said.