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Hwange Floods: Victims Spend Two Days With No Food

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Matabeleland North Correspondent

TOURISM players and churches in Victoria Falls Sunday said they were making frantic efforts mobilising resources to donate to victims of flash floods in Hwange Monday, as about over 50 affected families spent a second night in temporary shelters in the coal mining town after their homes extensively destroyed by the torrential rains.

A thunderstorm that lasted the whole night in Hwange, followed by heavy rains measuring about 139mm Saturday left a trail of destruction in Number 1, Cinderella and Empumalanga suburbs.

Twenty-five houses were affected in Number 1 suburb, 13 in Cinderella and eight in Empumalanga’s DRC section as victims lost all their household goods including foodstuffs, clothes, blankets and part of
furniture, according to a preliminary report from the Civil Protection Unit.

The victims were evacuated to safer temporary shelter at two guest lodges in Lwendulu as well as Cinderella Hall where they are all swarmed without food and clothes.

Some also lost domestic livestock such as chickens and rabbits which they keep in their backyards as food supplement.

Hwange residents have blamed the floods on poor drainage system and accused Hwange Colliery Company which administers Number 1 and Cinderella of lacking capacity to clear the storm and sewer drains.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe Victoria Falls chapter chairperson Farai Chimba said they were mobilising industry players to gather some provisions to be sent to Hwange Monday.

“We are assessing damage to see how best we can assist the victims especially with food and water and this should be done on Monday,” said Chimba.

Some concerned citizens said they feared for an outbreak of waterborne diseases if no help is rendered in time.

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering church’s Victoria Falls branch Sunday mobilised various kinds of goods they said they will also hand over Monday.

“As ECG Victoria Falls branch and through our Beacon of Home programme we have raised some foodstuffs and goods that we are going to be handing to the victim of flash floods in Hwange on Monday morning,” said Pastor Phinias Sibanda.

Hwange Colliery spokesperson Rugare Dobhie said workmen had started clearing the drains to avert further flooding while help was being mobilised for the victims.

“As Hwange Colliery we are doing all we can to assist the affected families who were moved to guest houses and other safer areas within the concession area,” she said.

Hwange Local Board ward 9 councillor Fani Chirwa in whose area Number 1 section falls, Sunday urged residents to remain alert as she extended a begging bowl to well-wishers on behalf of the victims.

She said she had visited the temporary shelters and noticed a sorry situation.

Meanwhile, work has been suspended on the expansion of the Hwange Power Station units 7 and 8 due to flooding at the power station. Work will only resume after the water has been drained from the site.

However, according to sources at the power station, electricity had up to the time of writing, not been affected by the floods.