More than 550 schools have been affected by the deadly floods in, KwaZulu-Natal. As a result, the schools in KZN will not be open, and more than a thousand pupils will not be able to return to school.
A total number of 630 schools in KZN have been severely damaged, 101 are inaccessible and 124 schools have suffered substantial destruction. Some of the main roads and bridges leading to the schools have either been swept away or cut off by the severe floods.
The latest report reveals that 57 students have been declared dead, and 5 others are still missing. Basic Education Spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga says that the numbers are most likely to rise as the search for the missing people continues.
Over 630 KwaZulu-Natal schools battered by floods – Sunday World: The Department of Basic Education spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, confirmed on Tuesday that 101 schools remained “waterlogged” and inaccessible, … https://t.co/ICiAj4sa7B
— School 4 South Africa (@Schools4SA) April 19, 2022
“Some schools will remain inaccessible due to the mudslides that were continuing, so it is too dangerous for anyone to venture in those areas where there is still a lot of water flowing by and rain still falling, so the numbers will continue and as a result of that danger, we are saying safety first, teachers and learners should not even attempt to go to a school which is not safe,” Mhlanga said.
The floods in KZN have not only destroyed roads, homes, and other infrastructure. But they have left thousands of residents homeless, and displaced families, and cut off power supplies and water services.
[ICYMI] WATCH | Basic Education Minister inspects schools affected by KZN floodshttps://t.co/7pVSjMEdN0
— eNCA (@eNCA) April 19, 2022
The biggest concern for rescue officers is that as the weather gets warmer, the soil will dry up and make it difficult for the K9 dogs to sniff anything that might help in finding the missing bodies.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the families affected by the floods last Wednesday: ‘’This is a tragic toll of the force of nature and this situation calls for an effective response by the government in partnership with communities,’’ Ramaphosa said.
Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, visited some of the damaged schools in Durban and said that they will only be able to say by Friday, whether which schools cannot operate.
It has been estimated that over R400m will be needed to restore the schools, with the figures expected to increase in the coming days.
#KZNFloods @SANDF_ZA & @SAPoliceService members taking off from the Search & Rescue Command Centre in the old Virginia airport in Durban. They are part taking in search & rescue operations across eThekwini & through out KZN following the floods. #eNCA pic.twitter.com/pJM86CMosk
— Siphamandla Goge (@SiphamandlaGoge) April 19, 2022