Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Hailstorms wreak havoc in Midlands Province

By Patrick Chitumba

At least 43 buildings were destroyed by hailstorms that hit the Midlands Province in the past few weeks, provincial administrator Mr Abiot Maronge has said.

This picture shows homesteads that were destroyed by hailstorms in Mangwe District
This picture shows homesteads that were destroyed by hailstorms in Mangwe District

In an interview, Mr Maronge said a report on the damage caused by hailstorms in parts of the Midlands Province, which include Kwekwe, Silobela and Zvishavane indicated that 43 houses and other buildings like granaries were destroyed.

“So, there is a dire need for the facilitation of reconstruction of some houses,” he said. “A few may need foodstuffs but generally the households are food secure.”

Mr Maronge said Chief Gobo of Silobela was one of the most affected after a hailstorm destroyed at least three houses and a granary at his homestead.

“However, the maize grain was not destroyed because of the concrete slab which was used to seal the top part of the granary,” he said.

“The four damaged structures will need asbestos and iron sheets.”

Mr Maronge said structures affected by the hailstorms were fragile and could easily succumb to strong winds.

He encouraged home owners to consider erecting new and stronger structures.

Mr Maronge said a hailstorm destroyed a power line in Silobela, affecting operations at Exchange Irrigation Scheme, which is a source of livelihood for many villagers.

“Four poles where pulled down and ZETDC (Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company) has not come to rectify the problem,” he said. “What they have only done is to disconnect the lines to avoid another disaster due to electrocution.

“ZETDC is citing the fact that their truck to ferry the poles to the site is down, therefore they are unable to transport the poles to solve the problem.

“The entire community of ward 18 has been relying on ZINWA water from Exchange Irrigation Scheme, therefore since the hailstorm there has been no electricity to pump the water, as a result community and schools such as Gobo primary and Silobela high had a serious challenge of water.

“The problem was compounded by the fact that four boreholes are not functional; only one borehole is being used by the entire ward. There is need to urgently rehabilitate the four boreholes as the backup source of water for the community.” The Herald