SENIOR STAFF WRITER
ZIMBABWE is expected to continue receiving heavy rains for the next three months, which can cause floods in low lying areas.
Speaking during Tuesday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Environment minister Mangaliso Ndhlovu told the Cabinet that people must stay alert as the heavy rains were set to continue.
“The minister of Environment…briefed Cabinet on the 2021 weather outlook and implications thereof. He reported that the rainfall outlook for the February to April 2021 period would be within the normal to above normal category across all the geographical regions of the country. As such, more rainfall is expected during the three months, with a likelihood of flooding and waterlogging in poorly drained areas.
“The minister reported that the average national dam level was at 88 percent as at 5 February 2021, with anticipation that the levels would increase with the forecast increased rainfalls.
“This should see water availability improving, resulting in high potential for more land under irrigation during the winter season. Pasture availability has also improved and is expected to continue improving with the expected rainfall during February, March and April,” Mutsvangwa said.
“The nation is thus advised to be on high alert, as more natural disasters are likely to occur as a result of incessant rains. People in malaria-prone areas should take necessary precautions, while those on flood-prone areas should relocate to high ground. Government will continue to institute measures to protect citizens in case of natural hazards.”
This comes as flash floods recently left a trail of destruction across the country, dmaging roads and bridges, uprooting trees and flooding homes.
Most areas in Masvingo, the Midlands, Harare and Manicaland provinces have been receiving incessant rains.
Department of Civil Protection (DCP) director Nathan Nkomo recently told the Daily News that floods have destroyed roads and bridges across the country.
Last month, six people were swept away when the driver of the truck they were travelling in tried to cross a flooded river in Gweru.
In Chiredzi, the DCP had to seek assistance from the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) to airlift dozens of people who were marooned while crossing Mutirikwi River.
Four villagers were swept away before the chopper could lift them to safety.
In Harare, a number of homes were waterlogged while old jacaranda trees in the Avenues area were uprooted.
Harare City Council acting spokesperson Innocent Ruwende recently said most of the houses which were affected by the floods were built on wetlands.