Floods ravage Harare after heavy rains
By Blessing Zulu
Deadly floods that have swamped some parts of the country of late have been described by some experts as less of a natural disaster and more the result of poor planning, lax enforcement and decisions based on political expediency.
One person is reported missing while seven people were struck by lightning when floods hit Harare and some parts of the country during the past 48 hours. At least 18 people have died so far following heavy rains in Zimbabwe since the start of the year.
Damaged watersheds, illegally built structures and the neglect of drainage systems are some of the factors that have made the people much more vulnerable to enormous floods.
Urban planners in the ministry of local government, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Studio 7 that lack of vision has seen the total collapse of the infrastructure.
Heavy rains that have been pounding Harare since Sunday have left a trail of destruction damaging homes and businesses in the capital.
The Meteorological Department is also warning of heavy rains in the next 48 hours. Ashdown Park in Marbelreign received a record 158 millimeters of rain Sunday.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has appealed to motorists and the public to be on high alert as several people were trapped after trying to drive in flooded roads. The crisis has been worsened by Harare’s failure to fund the Civil Protection Unit which deals with humanitarian disasters.
Areas around the Zambezi River basin are on high alert following floods in Mozambique that have killed more than 159 people and affected nearly 160,000 others.
Jessie Majome, Member of Parliament for Harare West, the most affected suburb in Harare, said the situation is desperate.
And Zimbabwe Red Cross Society spokesperson, Takemore Mazuruse, said his organization has stepped up to assist flood victims. VOA