Climate Community Development Education Social

Zimnat and Sanlam assist another cyclone affected school


Zimnat has provided roofing materials for yet another school hit by Cyclone Idai, which lifted and blew away the roof of two classroom blocks at Buwu Primary School, leaving pupils having to share classrooms that still have their roofs intact.

The hot seating arrangement to accommodate the pupils whose classrooms were no longer safe has resulted in young pupils having to travel home in the dark. There are 405 pupils enrolled in the school.

In the wake of the extensive destruction of homes and infrastructure caused by Cyclone Idai, Zimnat, in partnership with Sanlam, the continent’s largest non-banking financial services company, undertook to source roofing materials for some of the damaged buildings.

Buwu Primary School, which is in Mutasa District, is the third school in Chimanimani that Zimnat and Sanlam have assisted in this way. The others were Gatsi Primary School in Tamba village in Mutasa District and Muchadziya Primary School in Ngorima.

The donation of roofing materials to Buwu Primary School, which was comprised of 25 roofing sheets, 30 units of timber and 5kg of roofing nails, is meant to ease the burden on the school to provide adequate classroom accommodation for the affected pupils and obviate the need for hot seating.

Receiving the roofing materials from Zimnat officials, head teacher Constance Mukura explained the challenges she faced in trying to accommodate the children whose classrooms have been rendered unsafe after their roofs were blown off.

“The school has been forced to implement hot seating in order to accommodate the other learners without safe facilities. However, this has been challenging as with winter the sun sets earlier forcing the young pupils to travel in the dark,” she said.

Explaining why Zimnat had decided to make this donation, Zimnat Group chief executive officer Mustafa Sachak said: “At Zimnat we are committed to making life better for others. When we heard of the plight of the Grades One and Six learners at Buwu Primary School, we decided to make a contribution by financing the purchase of the needed roofing materials at the school.

“Having modern learning facilities improves the children’s dignity and confidence, especially after the traumatic experience some of the pupils went through during the cyclone.

“The learning environment should be a safe space for the leaners and not a stark reminder of the painful past.

“We hope other donors will also consider funding the rebuilding efforts at the school to serve all the children,” said Mr Sachak.

Zimnat is a diversified financial group operating in Zimbabwe and is associated with the Sanlam Group, which is the largest non-banking financial services group on the continent. Zimnat has four business units, namely Zimnat General Insurance, Zimnat Life Assurance, Zimnat Financial Services and Zimnat Asset Management.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende