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Heavy rains leave trail of destruction in Matebeleland South

by Staff reporter
25 Dec 2020 at 07:10hrs | Views
HEAVY rains accompanied by strong winds have left a trail of destruction in Matabeleland South province where a number of key infrastructure mostly schools, clinics, dams, roads and homesteads were adversely affected.

According to authorities in the province, more than 10 schools from all the seven administrative districts had their rooftops blown away by winds since the onset of the rainfall season.

Further assessments are ongoing and the provincial Civil Protection Unit has already sent out teams to educate communities on disaster response in red zones.

The Provincial Development Coordinator, Ms Lathiso Dhlamini who also chairs the local Civil Protection Unit said more assessments were underway to ascertain and collect the data in all affected areas.

She said most of the buildings had their roofs blown off and that no reports on loss of human life had been received.
"Since the onset of the rainfall season, a number of disaster incidents have occurred in the province mostly attributed to the weather conditions associated with the rainfall season.

"We have sent out teams in the respective districts and affected areas to educate communities on disaster management issues and at the same time assessing the extent of damage and compiling bills of quantities," said Ms Dhlamini.

She said all the disaster response structures remained active and would be beefed up where necessary.

The official said they expect to review response mechanisms based on the nature of disasters in the respective areas. Ms Dhlamini said Gwanda, Umzingwane, Bulilima, and Mangwe were the worst affected districts. Insiza and Matobo had many homesteads and dams damaged.

"Further assessments are ongoing in places like Beitbridge, Insiza, and Matobo districts," she said.

The official said communities were encouraged to work with their local Disaster Rapid Response (DRR) teams to minimize the effects of disasters.

Ms Dhlamini said in some instances the impact assessments were being affected by the ongoing heavy rains which have also damaged major roads making them very difficult to traverse.

Meanwhile, residents at the Beitbridge town council-owned hostels, which house 60 households have started relocating after they were hit by flash floods late on Tuesday.

The place is located near Wamlala Stream which feeds the Limpopo River and often gets flooded. As a way of minimizing flooding in rural Beitbridge, the rural district council's chief executive officer, Mr Peter Moyo said they were working with communities in Ward 15 (Shabwe) to construct ridges to protect two schools and a clinic in that area.

"There is a stream in that area, so we have agreed with the community to construct a ridge to divert the flow of water from its source to minimize chances of flash floods around these institutions," said Mr Moyo.

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Source - chroncile

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