By Staff Reporter
THOUSANDS of desperate villagers in Uzumba are in need of urgent food aid and shelter after heavy rains destroyed their homes and reserved food stocks last month.
The hailstorm also claimed the life of six-year-old Gloria Kapuwa after she was swept away while attempting to cross a flooded river.
Gloria and her sister, Gamuchirai, 12, had gone to the river, some four kilometres away from their home, to fetch water.
In a telephone interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe district administrator, Douglas Hungwa, painted a picture of desperate villagers who are in urgent need of assistance after most homes and reserved food stocks were destroyed in the hailstorm.
Other villagers are also reported to have lost maize seed and fertilisers stocked in preparation of the 2018/19 farming season.
“The disaster caught everyone unprepared. However, we have since alerted the provincial and national offices of this disaster,” Hungwa said.
“We are appealing for donations in terms of food and tents for those who were left homeless. These items are needed as a matter of urgency.”
The villagers are also at risk of contracting water-borne diseases as most water points in the area are no longer safe for human consumption.
Hungwa said the most affected areas were Wards 4 and 5 in Uzumba where virtually every homestead was destroyed.
“There is also need for more boreholes in the district to curb the perennial water woes,” he said.