Gweru evacuates flood-hit residents
By Patrick Chitumba
Gweru City Council (GCC) yesterday evacuated residents from various suburbs affected by flash floods to temporary shelters following incessant rains that pounded the city.
With a humanitarian disaster looming following heavy rains that pounded Gweru from morning till evening, hundreds of houses were left flooded.
Residents of Woodlands, Ascot, Mambo, Mkoba 4, Riverside, Nashville and Mtapa suburbs fought a losing battle trying to scoop water from their houses. They lost property including food and some medicines after water flowed into their houses.
The affected areas are all in low-lying areas.
Chronicle went around the city and observed a sorry state of affairs for the residents and some business owners who witnessed their property being destroyed by flash floods.
In Riverside, precast walls were also destroyed and many roads were impassable because of the flash floods.
From around 10am up to 5pm heavy rains pounded Gweru in a development that left residents pleading for assistance from the local authority.
The flooding was intense and residents tried to put furniture like beds of top of wardrobes or fridges to save them from being drenched.
In Mambo, a Chronicle news crew witnessed a mother and her children standing in water in their two-roomed house.
Since January, flash floods have been experienced in low-lying areas in Mkoba 4, Mtapa, Nashville, Riverside and Senga.
GCC working in partnership with the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) last week activated processes to mitigate against any loss of lives.
While no lives have been lost to date, residents have lost property such as furniture, precast walls and food.
To avert loss of life, temporary shelters have been put in place in Mkoba, Mtapa, Ascot, Senga and Ivene.
GCC has identified its schools and beer halls to be used as the temporary shelters.
Gweru City Council public relations officer Ms Vimbai Chingwaramusee said most affected residents were from Mkoba 4 (Dewa Road), Tinshel suburb, Woodlands, Mtapa, Nashville and Ascot Extension.
Ms Chingwaramusee said temporary shelters in Senga training centre, Mpumelelo Primary School, Takawira Primary School, Budiriro Primary School, Matongo Primary School, Mtapa Hall, Shumba Hall, Mkoba Hall, Ingwe Hall, Ascot Beer Hall and Senga Beer Hall have started receiving affected residents.
“We have started evacuating residents who have been affected by flash floods across the city. Right now, we have been evacuating residents from Woodlands; Ascot; Mambo, Mkoba 4; Riverside; Nashville; Mtapa to temporary structures,” said Ms Chingwaramusee.
She said GCC is working in partnership with the CPU and the Department of Social Welfare.
Ms Chingwaramusee said council employees were in place to assist residents evacuate to the temporary structures.
She said food and other needs will be provided for those who will be accommodated in the temporary shelters.
The floods have claimed the lives of six people including the driver Tinashe Chiwawa of Gweru City Council who drowned when the vehicle they were travelling in was swept away by floods at the flooded Gweru River bridge on Sunday last week. The Chronicle