Tokwe Mukorsi: Focussing on schoolchildren

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ENVIRONMENTAL activist and musician affectionately known as ‘Mr Green Ambassador’, Derrick Mpofu has said his charity efforts at Tokwe Mukorsi will centre on educating the hundreds of children affected by the floods that hit the area earlier this year.
Last week, the Green Ambassador organised a series of concerts where South African songstress, Zahara was performing in a bid to raise funds which are to be channelled to the Tokwe Mukorsi flood victims.
In an interview with The Patriot, the Green Ambassador said the proceeds from the Green concerts he holds annually will be channelled in such a way that they cater for the educational needs of the Tokwe Mukorsi victims.
“There have been numerous donations made to the Tokwe Mukorsi victims, but I feel there is also need to centre on education,” Mpofu.
“Zimbabwe is a country filled with abundant resources not just in the form of minerals and other tangible aspects, but also the ever increasing number of educated people.”
Mpofu said it was important for donors to prioritise the education of the hundreds of schoolchildren displaced by the disaster.
He said this was important in securing their future.
“What is more important of course is the future and we are saying, ‘why don’t we secure the children’s future by prioritising their education in the donations we make out to victims of the Tokwe Mukorsi disaster,” Mpofu said.
Efforts by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to provide teachers to assist in the establishment of a satellite school have been futile due to the lack of the make shift structures wherein lessons will be conducted.
According to statistics given by the ministry, 800 primary and 500 secondary school pupils were displaced by the disaster.
Sources claim that at least 100 families were using classrooms as their living quarters displacing hundreds of children from their educational facilities.
Mpofu said his philanthropic efforts will start off with the erection of makeshift classrooms as a temporary measure to ensure that the children do not go for long without receiving education.
He said his philanthropic work, no matter how small it might be, will also attract stakeholders in recognising the urgency of addressing the educational woes of the victims of the floods.
“We will help in the building of semi-permanent structures that will cater for the hundreds of children that are not getting access to education and we plan to involve other stakeholders as well so that they donate books and other stationery,” he said.
Since the disaster hit, donations made out to the Tokwe Mukorsi were in the form of food, blankets and other short-term assistance measures.
In March, Econet Wireless donated eight tonnes of blankets, clothes and food worth US$100 000 to the Tokwe-Mukorsi floods victims who have been relocated to Chingwizi in Mwenezi. 
In the same month, various church organisations made their humble donations.
Worth noting is the Salvation Army Church in Masvingo which donated basic amenities such as soap mealie meal and linen.
The Airforce of Zimbabwe, among other institutions, also assisted Tokwe Mukorsi victims.
However, pundits contend that more needs to be done in order to come up with long-term measures of alleviating the situation.
To date, hundreds of children still lack basic education due to lack of learning facilities.
Meanwhile, in a revelation that was made by ZANU PF spokesperson, Cde Rugare Gumbo, the Politburo which sat on Monday resolved that Government should source funds to compensate and relocate the families which were affected by the Tokwe Mukorsi disaster.
“The decision of the Politburo was that Minister Chinamasa should find the money to compensate those people so that they are moved as quickly as possible from that area,” he said.
Mwenezi assistant district administrator, Elisa Chauke, who is also the holding camp administrator, was quoted in a local daily saying the Tokwe Mukorsi flood victims’ woes will soon be a thing of the past.
“We are setting up infrastructure such as roads, clinics and schools at the permanent plots that are ready for occupation,” she said.
“Of course there are some who resist, but the majority are very willing to move on.”
Chauke said efforts were being made to build permanent schools at the new relocation places.

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