MORE than 50 families have been left homeless after heavy rains coupled with strong winds hit Masvingo District since last week leaving a trail of destruction, an official has confirmed.
Masvingo district civil protection unity chairman Mr Roy Hove said a clinic was also destroyed while Wards 8, 9 and 35 bore the brunt of the storm as homesteads were razed.
No casualty, he said, had been reported by yesterday afternoon.
Mr Hove said the civil protection committee was yet to ascertain the cost of the damage. He said an appeal has been made to those who could provide temporary shelter to the victims.
“I can confirm that the ongoing rains are causing destruction in Masvingo District,” said Mr Hove.
“We have received reports with tangible evidence of destruction caused by the rains in Ward 8, 9 and 35. We have Chisase Clinic in Chief Nyajena area whose roof was blown away by strong winds. The rooms were soaked in water as heavy rains pounded the area late last week.
“We have also received reports from Chief Musara’s area where the destruction has been extensive. Some homes were reduced to rubble, leaving families with nowhere to sleep,” he said, estimating that 50 families were affected.
Mr Hove said while Government was still compiling statistics on the quantum of the damage he appealed to private players that include non-governmental organisations as well as churches to assist in cash or kind.
He said Government is already providing victims with food and would soon give them some clothes.
“Some of the affected families have sought refuge at their relatives’ homes but that is a temporary measure as they still have to go back to their homes. A natural phenomenon should be everyone’s responsibility because no-one has planned it. We appeal to individuals, organisations and even churches who can assist, to come forward.
“We appeal to those who are prepared to reconstruct the health facilities and destroyed homes to assist. We are fully aware that Zimbabwe Red Cross Society comes in handy in such natural disasters but sometimes they are overwhelmed.
“We hope the destruction will not continue as we were still smarting from Cyclone Idai which hit Bikita and even our district, Masvingo, early this year,” he said.
The Metrological Services Department this week warned that some areas in the country will experience heavy storms resulting in raging floods and advised the citizenry to be extra cautious.
Significant rains have started falling in Masvingo province and other parts of the country signalling the beginning of the rainy season and farmers have been urged to start planting as well as be wary of floods and hailstorms.