By Munyaradzi Musiiwa in Muzarabani
More than 14 families in the Chimoio area of Muzarabani were left homeless after incessant rains accompanied by strong winds ripped through the area on Tuesday.
Muzarabani Rural District Council chief executive Mrs Annie Gwachiwa confirmed the incident, saying the Civil Protection Unit has since moved in to assist the families who are now living in makeshift houses.
“As you are all aware, Muzarabani is prone to flooding,” she said.
“On Tuesday, we received heavy rains that were accompanied by strong winds. At least 14 families were affected. We have since activated the CPU which is in charge of disasters such as floods.
“We have informed the provincial office, which in turn has taken up the issue. However, as a district, we have sent a team to go and assess the situation. We were informed that houses were completely destroyed.
“We also consolidated efforts with the Department of Social Welfare to go and assist with food and other basics such as shelter and blankets,” she said.
Mrs Gwachiwa said Muzarabani was on high alert for floods due to the onset of the rainy season.
The National AIDS Council (NAC) also expressed concern over the recurrent disasters, adding that it was affecting some people living with HIV, who ended up defaulting on taking their drugs.
Meanwhile, more than 6 000 families in Muzarabani are in need of food aid and are struggling to earn a living.
Zimbabwe AIDS Prevention and Support Organisation (ZAPSO) programmes officer for Muzarabani Mr Gondai Dekeza said the area had more than 6 000 families who were food insecure, which in turn has affected adolescents’ sexual behaviour.
Mr Dekeza said there was need for the empowerment of these families to ensure that there was food security at household level as well as ensuring that they were economically self-sustainable.
He said most adolescent girls get married early, while some indulge in risky sexual behaviour so as to earn a living.
“ZAPSO is part of the multi-sectoral approach in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” he said.
“In this area, we have more than 6 000 people who are food insecure. This concerns us in that it contributes towards increasing risky behaviour by adolescents.
“As you are aware, we have farming communities in this area. These areas are concentrated and most people in these areas dropped out of school due to various reasons. As a result, they indulge in risky sexual behaviours. Most adolescent girls get married early and expose themselves to HIV and AIDS as well as other sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).”
Mr Dekeza said ZAPSO, in partnership with NAC, introduced various intervention strategies to curb risky sexual behaviour among adolescents.