DOZENS of Beitbridge families were left without food on Wednesday night following a violent storm that blacked out the border town and flooded several houses.
No deaths or injuries were reported, although several Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company powerlines were uprooted by strong winds.
Serious water shortages added to the residents’ misery after power to water pumps was cut off.
The Beitbridge district civil protection unit (CPU) yesterday activated disaster management protocols and dispatched teams to assess damage in Dulivhadzimo high-density suburb, the worst affected.
Warnings have also been relayed across the district to potentially vulnerable areas in Chikwarakwara and Shashi where flooding occurs when there are storms.
“We have tasked the municipality of Beitbridge to head a technical team that will make a detailed assessment,” Beitbridge head of the CPU Sikhangezile Ncube told journalists.
“The details we want should include the number of households, number of people, gender and age of those affected. The immediate problem we have just established is lack of food.
“We are also looking for long-term solutions to end this problem we face perennially. We need a lasting intervention. It does not make sense that each year we fight floods in the same area.”
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Beitbridge town clerk Loud Ramagkapola said the municipality was concerned and relocation of residents was being considered in affected areas.
“We had not given them stands. Our plan was a total relocation of those people under urban renewal. We are courting partners who can assist with our urban renewal programme,” he said.
Affected residents were yesterday counting their losses and sun-drying property as threats of another downpour loomed.
NewsDay understands that most people who were affected by the storm, were vendors plying their trade near Dulivhadzimo bus terminus where thousands of travellers transit daily.