Gweru evacuates 26 families



AT LEAST 26 families in Gweru have been evacuated from their homes after they were affected by flash floods following heavy rains that have been pounding the Midlands capital.
This comes as heavy downpours have been experienced in most parts of the country, destroying homes and infrastructure, including roads and bridges, since the start of the year.

It also comes as a number of people have lost their lives after being swept away while trying to cross flooded rivers.
Last week, six people were swept away in Gweru when they attempted to cross a flooded river in a vehicle.

Gweru City Council spokesperson Vimbai Chingwaramusee told the Daily News that they have joined forces with the Department of Civil Protection (DCP) in assisting the 26 families with shelter, clothes, food and masks.

“We are working with the DCP to help the families that have been affected by the floods and they are currently housed at Shumba Hall in Mambo and Mutapa Hall in Mtapa.

“Our health department is on the lookout for issues to do with the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols on Covid-19 regulations. However, we are appealing for assistance with masks and sanitisers,” Chingwaramusee said.

Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe said the council was still assessing the damage caused by the floods. “The council is still collecting data to find out how many families have been affected since some of the victims chose to remain in their homes,” Makombe said. Last week, DCP director Nathan Nkomo warned citizens not to risk their lives by trying to cross flooded rivers.

“We are noticing a worrying trend in Masvingo where people continue to cross flooded rivers despite warnings. Some have their fields across the rivers and they get marooned or are swept away as they attempt to cross,” Nkomo said.

At the start of this month, Zimbabwe was expected to be hit by Cyclone Chalane, according to weather forecasts. However, by the time the weather pattern reached these shores, Chalane had weakened to a depression, causing lesser damage than anticipated.

But low-lying areas like Guruve, Muzarabani and Mt Darwin were affected by the depression but due to the early warnings, the DCP managed to evacuate the residents to safe areas.

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