The floods which hit Binga starting Monday this week have resulted in the death of at least one elderly villager from the Nsungwale area under Chief Sinakoma who was swept away whilst 34 families have since been rescued, the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has said.
By late Tuesday night, rescue efforts continued, with much efforts biased towards evacuating marooned villagers.
“From the latest report that I got from the District Government Coordinator there is one fatality, an old man who got swept away. That is the only fatality I know of. But as of now, those who were marooned have since been rescued,” CPU Director Nathan Nkomo said.
“Initially when they (team on the ground) did their rapid assessment, they had estimated the figure to be 100 but when he spoke to me, he told me that the exact number is 34. That is the number of affected families. But we still think it might be 100 because they have not done a thorough assessment.”
According to Nkomo, two Airfoce of Zimbabwe choppers deployed to the area have since been grounded. However, the grounding of the helicopters have not resulted in the stoppage of rescue efforts, Nkomo said.
“There is a lorry full of kitchen equipment, tents and blankets which will be given to every affected family because when one’s house is swept away, they lose everything including food, utensils, medication and many more. So, we continue to appeal that even the health sector can also assist with medication for those who are chronically ill so that they can continue with their medication,” Nkomo said.
According to Meteorological Service Department Principal Meteorologist Mr James Ngoma, Binga district has been negatively affected by the floods, despite the district having received the lowest rainfall in the entire Matabeleland region.
“Despite receiving the least amount of rainfall Binga experienced flash floods because it is in a flood plain which is more of a low-lying area. It is where the sources of water along areas such as Gokwe, Lupane as well as Hwange going to Zambezi Valley pass through. Therefore, if heavy rains occur either on the Zambian side or the Zimbabwean side Binga will still be prone to flash floods as a low-lying area,” Ngoma said.