By Abigail Mawonde and Praise Bvumbamera
At least 850 people in the Siphepha area in Tsholotsho District were displaced by flooding and subsequently evacuated to a local primary school and hospital by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, the Civil Protection Unit has said. In its latest situation report released last week, Tsholotsho District was the most affected. “Tsholotsho is arguably the most severely affected district in the country to date and a considerable number of households have lost their homes to flooding or excessive moisture.
“The total number of the displaced is 850 to date inclusive of schoolchildren and infants. The local school is also flooded and children cannot access the school. Flooding in the area reached waist level,” said CPU.
The CPU said a plan of action for response was already in place.
It said the needs or damage assessment — inclusive of mapping of the flooded area — would be conducted by the sub national civil protection structures with the support of the national civil protection committee.
It was providing critical basic needs such as food, water and sanitation, shelter and protection, health services and continuity of schooling.
There are also ongoing efforts in mobilising the necessary resources for response.
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces is providing air rescue services. The Red Cross Society and International Organisation for Migration have also chipped in providing clothing, shoes, school bags, jerry cans, blankets, mosquito nets and toiletries.
The Department of Social Welfare provided maize and rice for the community.
Germany Agro Action and UNICEF provided plastic buckets, bars of soap, water treatment tablets as well as class- room tents while the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society availed tents, plastic sheeting and sun plates while Plan International provided three vehicles for use and fuel.
Another vehicle and fuel was provided by Amalima.
The Health and Child Care Ministry and the World Health Organisation chipped in with medicines, infant formula and micro-nutrients.
CPU said the floods had also resulted in the straying of wild animals.
“In Lupane District, due to flooding, lions, zebras and buffaloes are being spotted in some areas thereby causing fear in affected communities.
“Some of the animals destroy crops and pose a risk to domestic animals. However, the National Parks Office has been notified to attend to the problem,” said CPU.
There has also been an outbreak of crop pests — webworm, army worm and stalk- borer.
UNICEF has since delivered a class room tent to the school.
In the Midlands Province’s Mberengwa District the entry and exit points of four bridges — Mwanezi, Chingezi, Zverenje and Tandavari — were extensively damaged while a number of power lines were downed and need urgent repair.
There were disruptions of water supply at Mwanezi Clinic, Jeka Rural Hospital and Chizungu and Chegato High schools.
“The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society is making arrangements to deliver tents to the affected households. Efforts are underway by District Development Fund and State Roads to repair the damaged bridges.
“The district is making arrangements to engage responsible authorities to carry out repairs to water supplies in affected institutions and to repair downed power lines,” it said.
In Mashonaland West Province, the CPU delivered building materials to damaged schools in Mt Darwin.
The department also dispatched a consignment of shoes, toiletries, clothing, plastic buckets to windstorm victims at Gatshegatshe in Kariba and lightning victims in Mt Darwin.