Binga floods victims still living in tents: Legislator

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Jeffrey Muvundusi

in BULAWAYO

VICTIMS of the flash floods that hit parts of Binga early this year are still living in tents at a time temperatures continue to drop during this winter season.

Flash floods hit Binga’s Nsungulwe village in February, killing one, destroying homes, infrastructure, killing livestock and uprooting planted crops —leaving villagers stranded.

The government, with the help of several donor agencies, housed the affected villagers in tents and promised to build houses for them.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda said it was unfortunate that the villagers had been left to suffer in the biting winter cold.

“The victims are living in a sorry state. They have even forgotten about help coming from the government because no one is talking about it now.

“Some have left those tents and are now staying with relatives after realising that nothing was forthcoming,” Sibanda said.

The Binga legislator said villagers have been left to fend for themselves regardless of the fact that everything they owned was washed away by the raging floods.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo said the last time he checked, the villagers had been offered land to build houses.

He, however, claimed that the government’s effort to help the villagers had been undermined by the outbreak of Covid-19, a development which has seen most resources being redirected to the fight against the killer virus.

“What I know is that the villagers had their stands pegged elsewhere in preparation for their relocation, but I will have to check with the district administrator on the progress that has been made so far,” Moyo said.

“Everything would have been done in time, but unfortunately there was Covid-19, so this generally disturbed our entire plans for the affected villagers.

“Yes, we are aware that they are still in tents in this winter season, but I can assure you that we are working on that as government.”

The government resolved to relocate the affected villagers —totalling nearly 200 — to higher ground as a permanent solution while also offering to mobilise resources to build new houses for the marginalised Tonga community.

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