BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
TWENTY-ONE families were left marooned and road infrastructure destroyed in Binga, Matabeleland North province, following flash floods that hit the area since the weekend, with the Local Government ministry revealing that the Air Force of Zimbabwe and other organs were co-ordinating evacuation efforts.
Last week, the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) warned of heavy rains accompanied by violent winds and floods.
Binga’s Nsungwale area under Chief Sinakoma was the worst hit.
“The flooded area is where four rivers meet, namely Sibwambwa, Sikande, Namapande and Manyenyengwa. Due to the heavy backlash, all the 21 families in the floodplain are marooned and 11 others are being assisted to reach safe zones,” the Local Government ministry said in a statement yesterday.
“The rapid assessment by the district civil protection committee indicates that there could be more people affected considering the general settlement patterns in Binga district.”
Violent storms accompanied by flash floods are becoming commonplace in the country, resulting in loss of life and property.
The MSD has been trying to issue impact-based weather information to minimise loss of life.
“As an immediate intervention, the Air Force of Zimbabwe, being an active member of the emergency services sub-committee, has mobilised two helicopters to assist the affected families. The sub-aqua unit stationed at Fairbridge in Bulawayo was also mobilised.
“The district civil protection committee was directed to intensify their assessments until they ascertain the actual number of people affected and those in need of assistance. The civil protection committee is dispatching 100 tents and blankets to Binga,” the ministry said, adding it was seized with mobilising food and non-food items to the affected families.