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State Emergency Unit Tackles Nationwide Floods

The Civil Protection Unit says it does not have enough money to assist thousands of people that have been affected by floods countrywide.

Briefing the Senate peace and security thematic committee on measures his department is taking to assist flood victims in the country, director Madzudzo Pawadyira said until Wednesday the unit did not have any cent in its coffers and was relying on support from other government departments such as the Air Force of Zimbabwe, the police and non-governmental organizations.

He said because of the torrential rains most parts of country were experiencing some form of flooding though the situation is serious in Muzarabani, Sipepa area of Tsholotsho and Chivi in areas around the Tokwe Murkosi dam.

He said treasury on Wednesday released $75,000 which he said would go a long way in solving flood emergencies, especially in Chivi, where 400 families have to be relocated as Tokwe Mukosi Dam levels are rising faster than anticipated.

He said several people have been stranded as dam levels continue to rise and the Air Force of Zimbabwe has moved in while the army has sent in boats for rescue operations.

He said initial plans were to relocate about 1,200 families by the end of last year and 1,900 by the end of this year but they all have to be relocated now because of the unexpected rise in the dam levels.

Pawadyira said some of those people stranded in Chivi had been paid compensation but used the money for other purposes and did not relocate resulting in the prevailing situation.

He said the flooded Sipepa area of Tsholotsho was in accessible by road and the Air Force, adding the army has dispatched helicopters and boats to assess the situation and assist the victims.

Pawadyira said though there have been no deaths in the current floods, two children were swept away by a flooded Nzoumvunda river last December in Muzarabani.

The floods, he said, have left a trail of destruction in schools, clinics destroyed homes and infrastructure in areas like Gokwe in Midlands, Binga in Matabeleland North province, Matabeleland South, Manicaland and Mashonaland provinces.

Pawadyira said though the department had submitted a bid of five million dollars to the treasury for this year it was only allocated half a million dollars making it unable to effectively carry out its mandate.