246 dead, thousands homeless as flood hits Zimbabwe

Added On March 3, 2017

 HARARE, March 2 (Xinhua) -- At least 246 people died and over 2,000 others were left homeless as torrential rains continued to unleash flood in Zimbabwe, a cabinet minister said Thursday.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere appealed for assistance from the international community, development partners and the private sector to address the plight of the affected citizens.
The Zimbabwean government has declared the flooding, so far recorded in southern parts of the country, a state of disaster.
"It is apparent that extra-ordinary measures to alleviate the suffering of citizens of the country in communal, resettlement and urban areas have to be intensified," he was quoted as saying by state-run news agency.
Zimbabwe has received above-normal rain since the beginning of the 2016/2017 season that has resulted in more that 85 percent of the country's dams spilling.
The rains are expected to continue until the end of March.
The minister said 2,579 homes, 74 schools and five health institutions had been damaged by floods.
Most of the deaths and destruction have been recorded in Matabeleland North and South provinces, Midlands and Masvingo provinces, he said.
Kasukuwere said shelter, food and nutrition, health facilities, education and road infrastructure were among the issues requiring urgent support while damage assessment was continuing.
He said the government had set up structures from national to district levels to deal with the disaster.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri said more than 12 million dollars was required to rehabilitate damaged dams and infrastructure for supply of clean water to the people.
"Over 100,000 people are without access to safe drinking water due to destruction of water infrastructure," she said.