Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
Government has started constructing houses for families whose homes were last year destroyed by floods in Binga district, Matabeleland North province.
After 181 families were displaced by floods in February, Government resolved to relocate 81 of them to safer places and has started constructing houses for them.
Nsungwale villagers under Chief Sinakoma area will have four- roomed houses, a major improvement from their pole and dagga huts.
The famlies will be among few rural families with modern houses in the district when the project is complete.
Binga District Development Coordinator Mr Farai Marinyame said work to construct the houses for the affected families has started and was progressing well.
“From the 81 households that were seriously affected by the floods, we have classified 37 of them as being critically in need of shelter.
The department of Public Works has so far constructed 17 houses which are now at roof level. The other 20 will be constructed by a private contractor. We will handover the houses to the beneficiaries when all the 37 houses have been completed,” said Mr Marinyame.
He could not say when exactly the construction of the houses will be completed as it is hugely dependent on Treasury disbursing the funds.
Mr Marinyame said Government has also observed a social problem caused by polygamous cultural issues that might arise when they start allocating the houses.
He said some families might need more than one house as the families are big.
“There are about three men who have five or six wives and as such they need more than one house,” said Mr Marinyame.
Government has also constructed houses for Tsholotsho villagers who were displaced by floods four years ago.
Villagers of Maphili, Thamula, Mahlasi, Mathaba and Mbamba were moved to settlements in Sawudweni and Tshino villages after their homes were destroyed by floods from the overflowing Gwayi River at the beginning of 2017.
The three-roomed houses which comprise of two bedrooms and a lounge, now occupy a unique space in one particular section of Tshino, where the distinctive red bricks used for their construction have brought a unique township feel to what was an area dominated by pole and dagga huts.
Meanwhile, Mr Marinyame said Government was aware of the threats posed by the rains to communities living in low lying areas like Nsungwale Village.
“We engaged community leaders who include traditional leaders and councillors so that they educate communities on the need to be on alert during the rainy season. We understand the implications of normal to above normal rains to our district.
Through the local community leadership we identified higher places where people could move to in the event of floods.
We have conducted awareness campaigns and some families have relocated to places that are not affected by floods,” said Mr Marinyame.–@nqotshili
Article Source: The Chronicle