FLOODS have killed one person and left more than 20 families stranded, after torrential rains pounded Matabeleland North this week, the Daily News reports.
The floods came exactly a year after Cyclone Idai battered Zimbabwe and killed hundreds of people in Manicaland and parts of Masvingo.
The floods which hit Matabeleland North followed a deluge which recently affected many households and overwhelmed bridges in the coal mining town of Hwange.
The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) said yesterday that floods in Binga occurred at the confluence of Sibwambwa, Sikanda, Namakande and Manyenyengwa rivers.
“The most affected area is Nsungwaale Village under Chief Sinakoma … and so far this has claimed the life of one person (a man),” CPU director Nathan Nkomo told the Daily News.
The flooding in the province occurred days after the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) had forecast heavy downpours in Matabeleland North and other parts of the country.
This saw significant amounts of rainfall being received in the western areas of the country on Sunday — with Lusulu recording the highest amount of rainfall at 49mm, followed by Binga at 44mm and Victoria Falls at 37mm.
Meanwhile, the acting Local Government ministry permanent secretary, Zvinechimwe Churu, has warned that the flooding in Binga could affect more people.
“The rapid assessment by the District Civil Protection Committee (DCPC) indicates that there could be more people affected considering the general settlement patterns in Binga,” he said.
Churu also said the DCPC had dispatched 100 tents and blankets to the district — adding that the government was currently mobilising food and non-food items for affected families, while the DCPC would be looking out for outbreaks of water borne-related diseases.
Three weeks ago, heavy rains caused flash floods which damaged homes and flooded parts of the Hwange Power Station.
Last month, flash floods also battered Gokwe Nembudziya and other parts of Midlands, leaving 30 families there homeless.
The flash floods come a few months after the government announced its intention to introduce the Disaster Risk
Management Bill, to revamp the country’s disaster preparedness and response — in line with contemporary emergencies.
The Bill seeks to repeal the Civil Protection Act and include issues such as radiation and earthquakes — which are not covered in existing statutes.
Zimbabwe has increasingly experienced climate change-related disasters, including flooding and high temperatures — with the latest and most devastating being Cyclone Idai, which swept away entire villages in Chimanimani last year.
and Shamiso Dzingire