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Floods: Tsholotsho District is on high alert

by Staff Reporter
04 Jan 2014 at 08:00hrs | Views

The Meteorological Services Department has issued a high alert in the event of flooding in Tsholotsho District. The Civil Protection Unity is continuing  with sensitisation campaigns on communities.

Met Dpt this week warned of flooding mainly in low-lying areas as the country continues to receive significant rainfall.

Low-lying areas such as Tsholotsho and Beitbridge are usually prone to flooding. The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland North Cain Mathema said they had been holding pre-disaster sensitisation meetings in the district's 22 wards and villagers had enough knowledge on how to deal with possible disasters.

"We have been holding pre-disaster meetings since September and a team from the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) came and conducted campaigns in the district, which is prone to floods," said Mathema.

"The villagers have acquired enough knowledge through the meetings and campaigns. They are also aware of the floods expected in the area."

Mathema however said the district had not experienced any floods so far.

"Tsholotsho District has received heavy rains since the start of the rainy season but I am happy to say that we have been lucky as no floods have been experienced so far," he said.

"Resources and equipment for emergency services to deal with the expected floods are on standby. We are therefore ready to react to any disaster anytime within the district."

Mathema urged villagers to continue to be on the alert in their respective villages.

"I would like to warn villagers to immediately move to higher ground once rivers overflow their banks to avoid unnecessary loss of lives," he said.

CPU deputy national director Sibusisiwe Ndlovu said there were district civil protection committees ready to respond to any occurrences.

She said it was critical for people to listen to warnings, generally observe rainfall activity before moving out of their houses or travelling.

"In case of strong winds, people should make sure that they are settled in a house with the most secure roofs and close all windows and doors," Ndlovu said.

"Most big rivers are not yet full, but they are expected to burst their banks due to the torrential rains."
On Tuesday, three children drowned while swimming in a flooded dam in Gutu, while seven people were marooned on an island along a river in Chivi, Masvingo.

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Source - Chronicle