Muzarabani residents resist evacuation: DCP

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THE Department of Civil Protection (DCP) is appealing to residents of Muzarabani district, who are resisting being evacuated from their homes in the wake of more expected rains due to tropical depression Chalane.

While most of the country has escaped the wrath of Chalane, the weather forecast has predicted heavy rains in some parts of Muzarabani.

As a result, the DCP wants to move at least 500m families domiciled in low lying areas that are at risk of flooding. However, the residents are resisting the move for various reasons despite the impending danger.

“The plan was to evacuate 500 households but it could not materialise as there was resistance from the people. “Several reasons have been advanced by the people and mainly fear of losing their crops,” DCP director, Nathan Nkomo, told the Daily News yesterday.

Nkomo said areas such as Chadereka and Kairezi had received huge amounts of rainfall — 32mm and 36mm respectively in 24 hours which are high figures.

“Buses remain on standby to evacuate people. The Meteorological Department has informed us that more rains are expected in Muzarabani, Mt Darwin and Mbire,” he said.

Last week, authorities had predicted Chalane to reach Zimbabwean shores as a cyclone but the weather pattern weakened into a tropical depression resulting in lesser damage. The tropical depression, however, caused some damage to households in areas such as Mt Darwin and Guruve.

In Manicaland, people were evacuated to safe shelters as the area had been predicted to be severely affected by the cyclone. The DCP has now begun transporting these people back to their homes after having spent the last few days in protective shelters provided by the government and other aid agencies.

“We had managed to evacuate people to Mutambara and St Patricks Mission schools due to the threat of the cyclone and the tropical depression and now we will begin an exercise to take them back,” Nkomo said.

Zimbabwe is still feeling the effects of Cyclone Idai which ravaged Chimanimani and its surrounding areas leaving at least 634 people dead while numerous properties were destroyed and hundreds of people went missing in March 2019.

 

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