Britons give 6bn/- to restore learning infrastructure in Kagera

IN a goodwill gesture to ensure students resume classes, UK Department for International Development (DFID) yesterday donated 6.3bn/- to restore learning infrastructure in the quake hit Kagera Region.

The generous contribution is for rebuilding, upgrading and equipping the schools, which were badly damaged by a recent earthquake that also claimed 17 lives and destroyed houses, rendering hundreds of people homeless.

The new British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ms Sarah Cooke, announced the aid at State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday after she presented her credentials to President John Magufuli.

Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Minister, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, addressing reporters in the city shortly after receiving the aid on behalf of the government, said the funds will be spent on rebuilding schools and teachers' houses.

"UK has always been our good friends in education development ... we are really grateful for this timely support that will help our children to resume studies as soon as possible.

The earthquake left behind severe damages on school infrastructure, there are classes and teachers' houses that collapsed ... it is hard for teachers to perform their duties with no places to sleep," said Professor Ndalichako.

She named some of the schools that would benefit from the aid as Ihungo and Nyakato secondary schools as well as Rugambwa Girls' Secondary School and teachers' houses. Prof Ndalichako assured Tanzanians that the students will soon resume classes, hinting that the Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) which has been entrusted with the reconstruction works, is scheduled to start the work shortly.

"As we speak, TBA engineers are in Kagera evaluating the site ready to start reconstruction works," said the minister, adding that the over 6bn/- support will enable over 740 students to resume their studies.

She pleaded with other well-wishers to continue supporting the victims of Kagera earthquake. The latest aid follows a tour of the region by Prof Ndalichako and DFID Head Vel Gnanendran.

Mr Gnanendran, on behalf of the UK government, consoled all the victims who continue suffering from the consequences of the tragedy.

"We feel it important to support the ministry of education as quickly as possible because the children in Bukoba have not to suffer further ... they have to resume studies in the shortest time possible," said Mr Gnanendran, promising additional assistance to ensure education provision.

The UK aid came as the government yesterday issued 17m/- condolence to the families of 17 people who died in the earthquake. Each family received 1m/- as Edson Rwebangira received 2m/- for losing a wife and daughter in the tragedy.

Handing over the condolence, Regional Commissioner (RC), Major General (retired) Salum Kijuu, said was aware that the token was not enough to compensate for the difficulties they are currently experiencing but simply a symbol of solidarity. Apart from the government, the communication company Viettel Tanzania Limited (Halotel) also gave 15m/- as condolences, with each family receiving 850,000/-.

Mr Rwetabura who lost a wife Verdiana (24) and a baby girl (8 months) was short of words, simply giving thanks for the assistance.

"I thank you all, may God bless you," he said in a sombre mood. Meanwhile, the World Vision has donated items worth 300m/- to support the victims of Kagera earthquake.

World Vision Acting Cluster Manager, Prosper Mujungu, handed over the items to Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Major General (retired) Salum Kijuu, saying the 46.4m/- worth of items were delivered yesterday, with the rest 253.6m/- items scheduled for delivery soon.

"We understand that many other materials are needed there ... we have prepared a number of write-ups to solicit more funds to assist more victims," said Mr Mujungu. Tigo and Clouds also donated cement worth 40m/- to the RC for the same purpose.

Britons give 6bn/- to restore learning infrastructure in Kagera Britons give 6bn/- to restore learning infrastructure in Kagera Reviewed by on 10:49:00 PM Rating: 5

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