Three high school pupils have drowned in a dam in Zimbabwe while trying to get to school, reports said Friday.
The three were using a canoe to cross a dam to get to school on Thursday morning when it capsized. Two of their schoolmates in the canoe with them were rescued, the state-owned ZBC broadcaster reported.
The three were reportedly pupils at Chinehasha Secondary School in Chiweshe, northern Zimbabwe.
The tragedy occurred during the first week of a new school term in Zimbabwe, and less than three weeks after three brothers drowned on a Christmas Day outing to a dam in central Zimbabwe.
Thursday’s casualties were named by the state broadcaster as Adelaide Hwengwa, David Kaviya and Rutendo Chikondori, who was due to sit for public O-level examinations this year.
Hwengwa was a Form 1 (Grade 8) pupil, meaning she had almost certainly only just started at the school on Tuesday.
The private Newsday paper quoted Ernest Kunzekwenyika, an uncle of one of the victims, as saying: “They were on their way to school and we are told that their canoe capsized and the three failed to swim to the shores.”
The paper suggested that the three had drowned in the Ruya River rather than in the Ruya Dam, as ZBC reported.
Strong winds were reported in the area on Thursday morning, which may have contributed to the accident.
Water levels in many dams in Zimbabwe are reportedly extremely low because of the prevailing drought.