More than 240 killed by floods in Zimbabwe

More than 240 killed by floods in Zimbabwe

The government of Zimbabwe said that 246 people have died, 128 were injured and approximately 1 985 made homeless after above-normal rains flooded the country. Regions now affected by floods have recently suffered from severe drought which left more than 4 million in need of food aid.

President Robert Mugabe declared floods to be a national disaster this week and appealed to international donors for $100 million to help those affected by floods, which caused loss of human lives, destroyed homes and public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, dams, schools and hospitals, killed livestock and destroyed crops.

Recent floods caused by Tropical Cyclone "Dineo" have left a trail of destruction in most parts of Matabeleland South and North provinces, particularly in Tsholotsho, Bulilima, Mangwe, Nkayi and parts of Matobo districts.

In Tsholotsho District in Matabeleland North, where the Gwayi River and its tributaries burst their banks, there are still 859 people displaced.

"Across the country as a whole, over 2 500 homes have been damaged since October and some communities are still cut off by the floods. Roads, schools and health facilities have also suffered damage," said Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National House, Hon Saviour Kasukuwere.

Since December, floods caused by heavy rains have killed 246 people, injured 128 and left nearly 2 000 homeless. 74 shools were damaged and 70 dams had burst, Kasukuwere said.

He added that since the onset of La Niña the country had experienced an astounding shift from a drought condition to an excessively wet situation and there have been heavy rainfalls that have surpassed all previous years. The situation was exacerbated by Dineo in mid February.

The affected populations are in dire need of assistance, he concluded. "There is an inadequate supply of tents and an urgent need for blankets, clothing, food and medical supplies in affected areas."

Featured image: Floods in Zimbabwe, February 2017. Credit: Hon S Kasukuwere

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