50 homeless, 10 injured as hailstorm pounds Bulawayo suburb

Storm distruction in Pumula Emthunzini suburb

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
MORE than 10 people were injured and rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital after their homes collapsed following Wednesday night’s hailstorm that left 50 families homeless in Emthunzini suburb on the outskirts of Bulawayo.

The hailstorm also destroyed properties in Pumula South and Nkulumane suburbs, with the roofs of some houses being blown off.

Most of the damage was in Emthunzini suburb which falls under Umguza Rural District Council.

Some of the Emthunzini suburb houses that were destroyed by a hailstorm on Wednesday night

Some of the Emthunzini suburb houses that were destroyed by a hailstorm on Wednesday night

Mpilo Central Hospital public relations officer Mr Ozias Ndlovu said 10 adults and an unspecified number of children were rushed to the hospital after being injured in the hailstorm.

“The hospital attended to 10 people who were admitted on Wednesday night with one of them being admitted today. The injured suffered small tissue injuries and were treated before being discharged. The hospital will also want to dismiss rumours that two people died at the hospital due to injuries sustained in the hailstorm,” said Mr Ndlovu.

Storm distruction in Pumula Emthunzini suburb 2

Umguza District Administrator Mr Tapiwa Zvivovoyi said more than 50 families were left homeless.

He described the situation as a disaster.

Mr Zvivovoyi said the District’s Civil Protection Unit is carrying out an assessment in the area.

“We have a disaster in the district. More than 50 households were left homeless after their houses collapsed in Emthunzini suburb leaving several injured.

I have already dispatched a team to investigate the situation on the ground. We have also sent an ambulance to ferry some of the injured residents to hospital as we observed that not everyone had gone for treatment,” he said.

Storm distruction in Pumula Emthunzini suburb 4

Mr Zvivovoyi said Hawkflight Construction Company, which constructed houses in Emthunzini suburb, was assisting affected families by relocating them to unoccupied houses under its housing project.

He appealed for assistance from members of the public, saying disasters of this magnitude require collective efforts.

A Chronicle news crew visited the suburb and residents said they had gone through a nightmare.

Some claimed the contractor had done a shoddy job.

Residents said the hailstorm started just after 9PM and lasted for close to an hour, destroying their houses and property.

They said the situation was worsened by the fact that the area does not have electricity.

pumula distruction

“The winds were very strong. It started off with loud noises coming from outside, before we could even understand what was happening our door started making cracking sounds. It flung out and as we scurried for safety, the roof was blown off. At that moment we did not know what to do. The walls started shaking and bricks started falling. The house was collapsing,” said a woman who identified herself as MaTshuma.

She said she was lucky to have escaped unhurt but other people were injured.

Another resident, Mr Luckson Ncube, said he received an urgent phone call as he was working on night shift, informing him that his wife and child were injured after their house collapsed on them.

He accused Hawkflight of building sub-standards houses for them.

“When I came home, the house had collapsed. The building collapsed on my wife and minor child who were rushed to Mpilo Central hospital. I’ve lost all my property. I don’t know where to start. Will the construction company own up to this,” said Mr Ncube.

Hawkflight Enterprises director Mr Mngane Ncube said they might not have constructed some of the houses up to standard.

“We want to apologise to the affected residents. We understand it’s a very distressing situation which creates a lot of anxiety but we want to assure the clients that we are putting up measures to ensure that their houses are rehabilitated,” he said.— @nqotshili

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  • QB

    One thing that I normally observe when houses are being roofed in Zimbabwe is the poor tying of roof holding wires. In most buildings they use very tiny wires to tie and very poorly tie. Some only tie the wall plate rafter and just pin the trusses with nails. I would advise whosoever leaves around that area to go around his or her house, if you see a tiny horizontal crack under your roof trusses just know that there is a problem its only a matter of time for it to be blown out. As for asbestos or IBR roof, many at time end time carpenters or contractors use shot nails that are less than 90mm, hey that is culpable homicide. Harvey tiles also have a special type of nail with threads not plain nails, go around your house pushing your harvey tiles from underneath where ever they are visible, if there be any movement stretching to over 60cm don’t hesitate to call a carpenter to fix it. Lastly the exposed rafters rot as years pass by and nails become loose so they might need to be replaced.
    Thank you
    #Buildings Contractor/Carpenter
    By God’s Grace

    Visit my Facebook page Butho.

    • Impartial someone

      The poor quality of work is one thing…More importantly in my opinion, asbestos is an illegal material in europe. People who are contacted to sanitize old buildings from asbestos are paid very well because it causes cancer. They actually have to wear overalls and mouth protection and have to strip down to their underwear, leaving their contaminated gear behind when they finish work. I dont know Why we dont use grass instead. Its clearly safer and more beautiful in my opinion.

    • musa

      what is your page? i might have a job for you. you sound read like you know your stuff.

    • Essexvale

      Go away with fake building what what nonsense. This is no place for advertising, you think we don’t know what you’re trying to do?? Gaining free advertising mileage.

  • dengu

    thae contractor is a bogus one using cheap material amatsotsi those are poorly built houses with little or no reinforcements and cement they are just fattening their pockets

    • mngane

      I doubt the tensile strength of the concrete blocks used to build the superstructure. From the picture these houses would have sedimented or consolidated in a few years time.

      • Ayanda Junior Dube

        Compressive strength is actually the property that you should mension when talking about concrete material. Reinforcement is used to impact tensile strength in the courses.

  • Dunderhead

    No ring force, whatsoever. hawkflight sure.

  • musa

    hawkflight doing a shoddy job. the company should compensate for the loss of property, injury, it should also demolish the houses and reconstruct them with BCC or Gvt inspectors inspecting since Umguza inspectors did a shoddy job too.

  • qondani

    That house is soaked I suspect bad builders, and those nice tiles sorry

    • Busani

      Yekela badle wena mgodoyi.

      • qondani

        Igwayi likanyoko yilo elizahamba lidliwa. Umgodoyi yindoda eyadunusisa unyoko

        • Busani

          Okusalayo iqiniso siyalazi sonke wena mntanenja. Ubuyanga sobukenza usangane uduke nezwe. Look for money wake & hustle like abantwana babanye not to sit down on your balls and hope things will work themselves out!!

        • Simon

          Uqhapheli inhlamba wena mdidikanyoko, anything else Dololo!

  • Bambanani

    I don”t see brick force in any of these fallen walls. neither do i see any 4mm tying wire securing rafters. Poor building standards, and poor building controls by council. Ama inspector asebenza ukudizwa kuphela.

    • Mthwakazi

      Yekela sidle, wena mgodoyi, this is our time. Most of these buildings we approve them via telephone.

  • mathe

    Poor quality work, this type of news was unheard of in Bulawayo,was quality testing done. Bantu lingezi njalo liyabulalisa abantu ngokwakha izitangwena, izulu lakuqala phansi kungakabi manzi lihle lidilize izindlu

  • Abbie Makiwa

    Surely if Hawkflight is given a tender to build houses of this nature what is he doing.I noticed a person of Bambanani’s observation that there is not a single bickforce on these structures.Even houses that are built in the rural areas have brick force used to strengthen the houses.Mguza District Council seems to be good at collect its rates but not inspecting the works done.I noticed from my are in Cowdray Park that this contactor is good at taking people’s money for nothing.In Cowdray where he built some houses surely you cant say this was done by a reputable company.I think his builders steal a lot of people’s building material that includes cement and those brick force.I think the tenants should group and engage a lawyer so that the company compensates these people and if it means that company closing down let it be.Shit yomntu.