Hundreds of villagers are marooned along rivers and low-lying places in Zimbabwe’s remote Binga District in Matabeleland North province where heavy rains have been pounding the area in the last three days.
A senior regional state official, Farai Marinyame, described the situation as “very bad”, saying the marooned villagers are expected to be rescued by helicopters Tuesday.
“We went to the affected areas but could not do much as some of the people are on top of trees and in places surrounded by floods. We have activated all our rescue systems locally and the same has been done nationally.
“We hope that the Civil Protection Unit will rescue the villagers. When we went there we could only call people’s names from a distance and as a result we don’t know the exact number of people trapped by the floods,” said Marinyame, who is the Hwange District Administrator.
Member of Parliament for Binga North, Prince Dubeko Sibanda, said an estimated 120 villagers are perched on tree tops and mountains in Nsenga, Chinginga, Nsukwale and other areas.
“The villagers have lost their houses, food, livestock and other precious belongings following heavy rains that started Saturday. I believe that Binga Center will also be flooded if the rains continue falling.”
Floods left a trail of destruction in Hwange district recently where hundreds of people lost their property worth millions of dollars.
Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services warned recently that heavy rains will hit some parts of the country.
The southern African nation is in the midst of a devastating drought that has left nearly eight million people in need of food aid. The World Food Program (WFP) says of the 7,7 million seeking drought relief aid, about 5,5 million are in rural areas and 2,2 million in towns and cities.
The WFP says the situation has been worsened by serious economic problems facing Zimbabwe.