Rains wreak havoc in Mberengwa

A heavy storm hit the western part of the district over the weekend- destroying critical infrastructure.

Though there were no casualties, roads leading to referral health clinics in areas like Mnene, Msume, Chegato and Jacker have been rendered impassable due to destruction by the rains which left deep gullies and overflowing waters. Several bridges in these areas were also swept away with rivers left flooded.

As a result, students and teachers at schools dotted in the area have been forced to abandon lessons due to difficulties that lie ahead of accessing their education institutions.

On the other hand communication lines linking Mberengwa and Zvishavane have also been cut down.

Motorists intending to drive out from the district to link with Zvishavane are also now being forced to use the longer route usually meant for those travelling to Gwanda.

Happymore Nzira, a nurse at Mnene Clinic told The Zimbabwean that patients and pregnant women seeking health care are the most affected by the unforeseen development.

“We had mothers who were awaiting delivery from their homes because the facilities we have at the clinic cannot accommodate bigger numbers of people. There are also patients on Anti-Retroviral drugs who were supposed to come and pick their medication but all these people cannot access the clinic due to the devastating storm that hit us,” he said.

Miniyenhle Hlabangani, a 36 year old widow from Chegato told this reporter that all the hopes of having descent yields have been shattered.

“The storm came at a time when we were almost sure of getting better harvest of grains in this season but that is now all gone. We do not know how we will be able to feed our families,” she said.

The situation is unprecedented because in the past six years, the district has been experiencing perennial drought spells due to inadequate rains. In 2012, former PM Morgan Tsvangirai who toured the district, urged government and Non-Governmental Organisations to offer continuous food aid to the villagers.

Mberengwa West Member of Parliament, Joram Gumbo said areas that have been greatly affected by the floods were Mnene, Chaza, Chagato, Mapiravana Gawururo and Njerenje.

The legislator indicated that there is now need for government to intervene and assess how the affected people can be assisted.

“There is need for Government to be flood alert and introduce mitigation strategies. We are hoping that the civil protection unit will respond rapidly before the situation gets worse. We are also appealing to well-wishers to chip in and assist the stranded and isolated villagers as well as assisting in the reconstruction of roads particularly those that are of economic value like the one connecting Zvishavane and Mberengwa," said Gumbo.

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