By Bernard Chiketo
MUTASA – MINISTRY of primary and secondary education has received a timely boost ahead of the reopening of schools as United Methodist Church (UMC) donated personal protective equipment and hygiene materials to 25 schools in Mutasa to combat the Covid-19 disease.
The equipment included 250 buckets, 260 litres liquid soap, 200 face masks, 800 latex gloves, and 200 calendars sourced from UMC Norway was made hardly two weeks after another donation to 20 schools in Buhera.
UMC district superintendent Reverend Tafadzwa Musona handed over the materials for the schools which were selected from the poorest and vulnerable communities through the church’s charity arm – Chabadza Community Development Programme (CCDP) on Friday.
Rev Musona said the church was responding to calls by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for everyone to support government efforts in combating the global epidemic which has now claimed the lives of about a million people and sicken over 26 million.
“We are making this donation with support from the United Methodist Church of Norway with which we have a partnership to help communities, regardless of their religious persuasion as our members do live in isolation, in response to the President’s call for everyone to help fight the spread of this epidemic,” Rev Musona said.
She said although the church continues to pray for divine intervention it was crucial for everyone to strictly adhere to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and government.
“Our prayer is that God spares us as we have huge families and crowded homes here in Mutasa… even when we pray, we also need to actively play our part in containing the epidemic by following WHO and government guidelines as we hope these schools would,” Rev Musona said.
Mutasa district schools’ inspector Chipo Mlambo said the shot in the arm was a huge boost as schools have a long list of requirements to be allowed to open including hydrogen peroxide and infrared thermometers to screen pupils who might present to schools with fevers.
“We are very thankful for this help as it takes us a step towards meeting all the requirements for each school to reopen which include hydrogen peroxide to routinely disinfect the school and infrared thermometers to screen pupils with fevers,” Mlambo said.
Mutasa district development coordinator Tendai Kapenzi who chairs the district Covid-19 response taskforce implored the school heads to ensure that the materials are used for their intended purposes.
“We implore you school heads that you ensure that these materials are used at the schools and nowhere else,” Kapenzi said.
Mutasa rural district council CEO George Bandure who is responsible for the taskforce’s resource mobilisation received the materials on behalf of the district.
CCDP director Rev Musafare Mususa said his organisation was operating in more than six provinces and was engaging in a wide range of community development programmes from building bridges, sinking boreholes to building classroom blocks and clinics beyond its current efforts in the Covid-19 response.
CCDP also conducted a community awareness campaign in Mutasa district centre, Watsomba Business Centre, and surrounding communities.
Coronavirus is having a devastating impact on people living all over the world but is already proving to be catastrophic for families living in poverty, those with poor medical facilities, and where children whose health is already compromised by malnutrition.