By Thandiwe Garusa
AT least 11 villagers have spent the past threes days perched on trees while 21 families are marooned with no food or water desperately waiting for help after heavy rains fell in Binga District, Matabeleland North, a Cabinet Minister has confirmed.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing Wednesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said bad weather conditions in the area had affected an Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopter from flying in to rescue the stranded villagers.
“The Air Force has not been able to fly in the last few days because of the weather. There are people who have been rescued, but they still want to fly around the whole area to make sure that everybody is rescued,” said Mutsvangwa.
“It was reported that due to the heavy rains, all the 21 families in the floodplain are marooned and 11 people are hanging on trees waiting for assistance.”
Mutsvangwa added: “Cabinet noted that the Air Force of Zimbabwe, (Police) Sub-Aqua Unit stationed at Fairbridge, Bulawayo and the Civil Protection Department had been mobilised to assist the affected families.
“Cabinet has approved that there be quick evacuation of the affected families to areas of safety. Cabinet has approved that non-food and food items be mobilised for the affected families and the District Civil Protection Committee should continuously monitor the general health and welfare of the people for possible outbreaks of water-bone related diseases.”