Cyclone Freddy disrupts education
12 year old survivor narrates how he was trapped whilst studying
Ibrahim Kamowa, a 12-year-old Standard 8 pupil at Chingoli Primary School in Mulanje, was preparing to take his district mock exams in preparation for the final primary school national exams when disaster struck. He left his home to study at school, but heavy rains caused flooding that made the road impassable.
Despite his efforts, Ibrahim was unable to return home that day. For three days, Ibrahim was hosted by one of his teachers as the road remained submerged. He was worried about his family and the damage caused by the floods to their community.
Cyclone Freddy caused extensive damage to Chingoli Primary School, damaging classrooms, feeding shelters, toilets, teacher's houses, and the headteacher's office. When Ibrahim saw the damage, he was frightened and overwhelmed.
Rodney Kamowa, Ibrahim's father, eventually braved the storm to fetch his son from the battered school. He was relieved to find his son alive and safe, but deeply concerned about the disruption to his education caused by the cyclone.
Like many other children in the affected areas, Ibrahim's future has been thrown into uncertainty due to the suspension of classes and damaged infrastructure.
“I was really looking forward to my exams, but now I feel that my preparations have gone to waste. Some of the remaining school blocks are now being used as camps for community members displaced by the storm. It is difficult and sad that we are in this situation,” says Ibrahim.