GWANDA – A man died while homes and school infrastructure were destroyed when heavy rains accompanied by strong winds pounded Gwanda district Wednesday night leaving a trail of destruction in the area.
An elderly man was swept away in Mlenje River in Mawaza village.
His body was found by community members some 2.5 kilometres downstream.
Speaking to ZimLive Friday, Acting Gwanda District Development Coordinator Thulani Moyo said the destruction caused by the rains was a drawback to painstaking development efforts placed in recent times to lift the fortunes of the poor district.
“The district has experienced four incidents of destruction. At Matshiya Primary School, wind blew off the roofs of eight classrooms. The destruction is very bad, and new roofing is required.
“At Mawaza village, an old man tried to cross a flooded river and he was swept away in the river and unfortunately passed on.
“At Kafusi Secondary School, lightning hit a classroom and it sustained a number of cracks; fortunately no casualties were reported there.
“Lastly, from Simbumbumbu Village in Ward 7, a number of homesteads were destroyed by the storms. We are yet to get the value of all the damaged property,” he said.
Moyo said in an effort to ensure that people are safe, the Gwanda District Council together with the Civil Protection Unit were conducting sensitisation campaigns.
“We’ve done sensitisation campaigns and we continue to educate people around the district to be wary of the heavy rains and stay indoors. We are discouraging people from crossing flooded rivers. Community leaders have also been engaged to assist us in spreading the message,” he said.
Moyo also called upon community members and the corporate world to assist with fixing the damage at Matshiya Primary School and Kafusi Secondary School ahead of schools opening set for this coming Tuesday.
At Matshiya Primary School, 8 classrooms were affected, roofing was blown off and the entire classroom setup was destroyed.
The Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe and the Department of Civil Protection Wednesday issued a warning for citizens to be on high alert for torrential rains set to pound more intensely Mashonaland, Manicaland, Midlands, and Masvingo provinces starting this Friday through into the weekend.