An official from the Department of Civil Protection, Nathan Nkomo has confirmed the damage caused by heavy rains to infrastructure in Binga and Chimanimani.
The current rains have to date killed one person and destroyed 181 homes in Binga and while two bridges have been swept away in Chimanimani.
The damage to the bridge threatened the work of aid agencies who are still providing relief services in Chimanimani after Cyclone Idai hit the district last March. The rains have also slowed down road repairs.
In an interview with 263Chat, Nkomo said forecasts from the Meteorological Services Department indicate that more incessant rains were expected up to today (yesterday).
“Some parts of Chimanimani, which are still recovering from the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai, have so far received more than 50 millimetres of rain and if this continues, many households will be affected,” added Nkomo.
He also announced that the Skyline area, which was badly damaged by Cyclone Idai last year, had not been affected by the current heavy rains, and workmen from Masimba Construction were yesterday carrying out repairs to Chimanimani Village.
In Binga, Nkomo said the Rapid Assessment team had visited all the 13 affected villages and confirmed that 181 homes had been affected.
“Of the 181 homes, 37 of them were completely destroyed. Our relief and psycho-support sub-committee has availed 110 bags of maize and we have instructed them to assist in the milling. We will meet all the costs.
“The district civil protection unit is in the process of identifying a suitable place to temporarily settle the affected families.
“One of the identified areas, which is about 3km to 5km from the affected area, is a virgin piece of land with no water.
“We need an area where there is easy access to water and sanitation facilities so that we will not expose the affected families to water-borne diseases. Our health sub-committee is also on high alert given the prevailing situation,” he said.
Nkomo said the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) had provided two water bowsers to the families while government had sourced blankets and clothes among other things to assist the affected people.
“As Government, we will also send money for use in coordinating the relief efforts in all affected areas. We have sourced two bales of blankets, 11 bales of clothes, boxes of laundry soap, shoes and tents to assist the families.
“We are also grateful for the support we are getting from development partners and we hope more will come on board to avail food and non-food items to the families,” he said.
Nkomo said a meeting had been set for today where stakeholders including the Air Force of Zimbabwe to scale up disaster preparedness.
Early this week, the Meteorological Services Department forecast heavy rains in some parts of the country, but these were expected to subside from yesterday.