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Dam bursts after torrential rains wreak destruction across Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
13 Feb 2020 at 19:30hrs | Views
Decked … A truck carrying food aid stranded in Gokwe river after missing narrow bridge
A community is in distress in Silima Village in Mangwe, Matabeleland South, after their main source of water, Fakanye Dam, burst on Wednesday morning after several days of torrential rains.

Rains which fell over the weekend into Monday caused widespread destruction, notably in Binga, Matabeleland North province, and Chimanimani, Manicaland province.

For the villagers of Silima and neighbouring communities, Fakanye Dam supported a local irrigation scheme and held water throughout the year for their livestock.

"It's our only source of water we have in this area. We need urgent help to shore up the wall before we lose all the water, or at least get repairs complete before the rainy season ends," said local villager, Precious Ndlovu.
Straight through … Villagers fear Fakanye Dam could lose all its water, threatening livelihoods

In Gokwe, a truck carrying drought relief aid fell into the water at a narrow crossing on the fast flowing Kawongo River. It was heading to Nembudziya. The water destroyed its cargo, mainly maize meal.

Local MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena said the incident pointed to the poor state of roads in the district.

In Binga, flood waters had subsided on Wednesday after the worst floods most locals ever witnessed. A man was confirmed to have died and two others are still missing.

Villagers said they had lost livestock and property after rivers burst their banks following incessant rains.

"This has never happened in my lifetime. Most villagers will not recover after this devastating natural phenomenon," said Chief Sinakoma, the local traditional leader.

The Civil Protection Unit said it had evacuated 34 families whose homes had become uninhabitable due to stagnant water.

Acting Binga District Development Coordinator Farai Marinyame said they needed urgent food deliveries to avert starvation.

The Chininga Bridge in Nsungwaale Village, which connects Binga and Siabuwa, was badly damaged and would require repairs before the two communities can be reconnected.

Nsungwaale Primary School, which has an enrolment of 286 pupils, only had 40 attending classes on Wednesday after Nandobe Bridge was swept away.

Chimanimani, still recovering from Cyclone Idai which devastated the district in March last year, saw an average rainfall of 50mm daily over the weekend into Monday – straining the temporary infrastructure mounted in the wake of the cyclone.

A detour bridge in Biriiri was swept away on Tuesday, leaving Bumba and Chimanimani inaccessible. Engineers from JR Goddard were busy at work on Wednesday repairing the bridge, to allow aid workers passage.

Source - zimlive