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Mugabe donates 1 000 bags of mealie-meal to Tsholotsho floods victims

by Staff Reporter
25 Feb 2017 at 07:56hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mugabe has reportedly donated 1 000 bags of mealie-meal and groceries to about 1 000 villagers displaced by floods in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North amid reports that about 2 000 homesteads have been destroyed by rains leaving 635 families homeless countrywide.

In a disaster situation report dating back to October, the CPU indicated that on Wednesday seven pupils were injured when a classroom block collapsed on them at Nakapande Secondary School in Binga.

The extent of injuries was not ascertained.

The report highlighted that 105 people drowned, 593 were marooned while 40 were rescued and three died. In the same report it was highlighted that lightning struck 118 people killing 12.

The CPU stated that 71 schools and five health institutions have also been affected while 71 community dahave burst. The report shows that 2 315 domestic animals died in the same period.

CPU deputy director Sibusisiwe Ndlovu said Sipepa in Tsholotsho remains at high risk of flooding.

She said due to the spilling of Gwayi River, children were no longer going to school.

"This is arguably the most severely affected district in the country to date and a considerable number of households have lost their homes to flooding or excessive moisture. The total number of the displaced is 850 to date inclusive of school children and infants. The local school also flooded and children cannot access the school," she said.

Ndlovu said she was happy with the swift reaction by humanitarian organisations that are already on the ground to assist the affected villagers.

She said human/animal conflicts are emerging in Lupane where animals such as buffalos were terrorising villagers.

Ndlovu said the prevalence of the fall army worm remained a challenge for communities. She said in Mberengwa District, about 80 homesteads were destroyed while livestock was washed away in the process.

"The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society is making arrangements to deliver tents to the affected households. Efforts are underway by District Development Fund and state roads to repair the damaged bridges. The district is making arrangements to engage responsible authorities to carry out repairs to water supplies in affected institutions and to repair downed power lines," Ndlovu said.

Meanwhile, the Government is also working on relocating people affected by floods in Tsholotsho to higher land where there is less risk of flooding.

The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland North, Cain Mathema, yesterday announced the President's donation to the victiof Cyclone Dineo that was downgraded to a tropical storm.

The affected villages include Mahlosi, Mahlaba, Thamuhla, Mbamba, Mele, Lutshome, Maphili and Mbanyana.

Local Government and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday led a ministerial delegation comprising Mathema, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and his Primary and Secondary Education counterpart Dr Lazarus Dokora to assess the situation at the camp where the victihave been temporarily accommodated at Sipepa Rural Hospital.

Kasukuwere said as a long term solution, the Government was working on modalities to relocate the victito high ground to avert future disasters.

"The Government has resolved that, as a long term plan, we must move our people to higher ground in an area that has been identified by the local authority.

"We have agreed with the local chief and we are now mobilising the Government departments, council and other stakeholders including the community so that we build permanent structures.

"Some of those who were affected by the floods are old people and they need to go back to their normal lives. We will bring onboard the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) and some of our partners," he said.

The Minister said the Government would continue to monitor the situation in Tsholotsho.

He also commended the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Plan International and other organisations assisting in rescue missions.

Cyclone Dineo that was downgraded to a tropical storm before it hit the country on Friday last week has caused widespread destruction in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces leaving thousands homeless and a majority of areas impassable for rescue missions.

Tsholotsho District - a low lying area in Matabeleland North - seeto have borne the brunt of the driving rain that has lashed Bulawayo, Masvingo, Midlands, Matabeleland North and South since Friday last week.

On Monday, the CPU with the assistance of the Airforce of Zimbabwe evacuated 1 362 people that were marooned by floods in Sipepa since Saturday. The affected include school children, the disabled and chronically ill.

Matabeleland North provincial education director Boithatelo Mnguni said they have since closed down Mahlaba Primary School and integrated 138 pupils and their teachers to Sipepa Primary School.

At Mathupula Primary School, which was also affected by the floods, at least a quarter of the pupils were also integrated to other schools in the district.

Mnguni said they have also engaged psychologists from Childline to provide counselling services to traumatised children.

Matabeleland North provincial administrator Latiso Dlamini said they have since set up a camp coordinating and management committee tasked with managing activities at the temporary shelters.

She said inaccessible roads and a poor communication network continued to hamper the distribution of food and other donations to the flood victims.

Meanwhile, Zimpapers Bulawayo branch is coordinating efforts to help the victiby accepting donations of iteneeded to assist the flood victims. The donations can be delivered to The Chronicle offices at 9th Avenue and George Silundika Street.

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Source - Chronicle

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