Thousands of people have been evacuated after torrential rains caused the partial collapse of the Tokwe-Mukosi dam, currently under construction by an Italian company, Salini, with funding from the Zimbabwean government to provide irrigation to the local area.
Its thought that over 4000 people are being moved from the flood risk area after cracks were discovered in the dam wall. Inspections also suggest the dam wall has shifted slightly as water levels rise following rare heavy rainfall in the country.
The dam is being developed for water storage and irrigation purposes and is expected to hold 1.8 million cubic litres of water on completion. The Red Cross is reportedly in the area providing assistance to displaced communities.
Beleaguered Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Ignatius Chombo has advised people living downstream of Tokwe-Mukosi Dam along the Tokwe River to immediately move five kilometres from the river bank and seek higher ground.
In a statement, the Minister said this is because the areas around the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam are at risk of flooding and must therefore take necessary precaution. Areas likely to be affected include Gororo, Nyahombe, Tokwani, Ngundu and other areas along the Tokwe River.
Chombo also advises motorists to exercise maximum caution when approaching bridges on the Tokwe River downstream to the dam.