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Rains sweep away bridges, roads

by Staff reporter
30 Dec 2023 at 08:23hrs | Views
INCESSANT rains being experienced across the country have left a trail of destruction with reports of bridges and school infrastructure being swept away by the heavy storms.

In Harare, the city's poor drainage system has worsened the situation after the rains left some roads submerged and impassable.

Residents in low-lying areas such as  Budiriro and Kuwadzana and those residing on wetlands in the capital are counting losses after water went into their homes and destroyed their household property.

As the rains continue falling, the municipality in partnership with the Department of Civil Protection (DCP)  have since established two evacuation centres after issuing an alert on potential floods.

The centres, situated at Budiriro 2 Primary School and Kuwadzana 3 Primary School, are meant to provide shelter to residents in flood-prone low-lying areas.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society  has also intervened to assist families after floods destroyed their homes in Harare.

"Amid cholera outbreak, now floods — tragedy for some families now homeless and sleeping out in the cold as incessant rains destroyed everything in its path in some Harare's suburbs," the Red Cross said in a statement.

"Red Cross teams are responding, communities urgently need shelter, food and access to clean water."

Heavy storms wreaked havoc in Goromonzi district, blowing away roof trusses at two schools and 60 houses, leaving the community stranded.

Travellers were left stranded yesterday when Sesame Bridge, which connects Sasami, Nemangwe and Nembudziya in Gokwe, Mildands was swept away.

"I can confirm that the Sesame Bridge has been swept away.  Travellers are encouraged to use alternative routes," Information secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana confirmed.

In a weather update on Wednesday, the Meteorological Service Department (MSD) said excessive heavy rains have been received in several parts of the country.

The MSD has warned that the rains will continue hitting the country till tomorrow.

"As the cloud band moved further into Zimbabwe, widespread thunderstorms were recorded across the country. The highest measured amounts of rainfall were at; Rushinga 93mm, Murehwa 77mm, Makuti 72mm, Macheke 66mm, Zindi 64mm, Hwange 63mm, Nyamaropa 58mm, Nyakomba 51mm and Masvingo 50mm. The other rainfall amounts were below 50mm," reads the statement.

"However, as it continues to move eastwards heavier falls are expected in Mashonaland Central and East, Harare Metropolitan, Northern parts of Midlands and Mashonaland Central and East, Harare Metropolitan.

"These storms may also be accompanied by lightning and hail therefore the public should take precautionary measures,"

According to a statement released by the Department of Civil Protection on Wednesday, 51 people have been killed and 28 injured since the rainy season commenced in October this year.

Among the victims were two police officers and their four-month-old daughter, who died while attempting to cross the flooded Kana River in Gokwe and a six year old who was swept away in Budiriro, Harare last week.

Property worth US$187 000 has been destroyed and more than 1 500 households have been affected.

"There is an urgent need to rehabilitate the (Hwahwa) prison as it poses a threat to prison officers in the management of inmates and also health-related risks as most inmates' cells are flooded," DCP said.

The department also said it was preparing for disaster response and management, with forecasts showing that the country might be hit by two tropical cyclones during the current rainy season.

However, the trail of destruction has exposed the country's weak disaster response management systems as lives continue to be lost during natural disasters.

Source - Newsday
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