Widespread damage after floods hit Binga district, northern Zimbabwe

Widespread damage after floods hit Binga district, northern Zimbabwe

Severe flooding which hit Binga district in Matabeleland North Province, northern Zimbabwe, on February 11, 2020, has damaged at least 181 homes and totally destroyed 37, according to national newspaper New Zimbabwe report on Monday, February 17, 2020. The figures came from preliminary reports from different organizations that assessed the affected area.

Local media reported that hundreds of villagers took shelter in trees for 24 hours as flooding stuck on, following days of heavy downpours. People eventually returned to their homes as soon as the rain eased. One elderly person was killed, the Civil Protection Unit said.

The flooded area is also where four rivers meet, which are SIbwambwa, Sikandra, Namakande, and Manyenyengwa. The worst-affected places were Nsungwaala, Chinginga, and Nsenga, which are low-lying areas. Bridges and roads were swept away by floodwater.

According to authorities, the Airforce of Zimbabwe has deployed two helicopters to assist afflicted families. They have also provided necessities such as food, tents, and relief items.

In addition, tour operators, hotels, and individual players in the tourism sector sent two truckloads of food and other items mobilized from Victoria Falls, Hwange, and Bulawayo.

The donations were made through the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ), as well as the Jafuta Foundation. HAZ Victoria Falls chapter chairman Arnold Musonza also urged other people to help.

"We have had floods in our region and we felt we should come in and help. It’s one of the defining times to come together and give a hand, hence we plead for more help from other stakeholders," he said.

Some of the items were given to Chief Siansali from Binga. The items include tents, blankets, cooking oil, vegetables, bottled water, cooking utensils, toiletries, soap, clothes, stationery, shoes, and mosquito nets.

The Hwange Colliery Company vowed to secure alternative houses for the victims in the district after residents aired their concerns that poor drainage allowed flooding particularly in the low-lying suburb of Lwendulu.

Acting Bing district development coordinator Farai Marinyane said CPU is keeping watch of the situation to protect the villagers. Most of the affected people lost a lot, not only their household properties but also livestock and crops.

Around late January, flooding destroyed homes and crops after incessant rains, with the Hwange district affected the worst.

Featured image credit: Zimbabwe Red Cross

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