Walter Mswazie, Masvingo Correspondent
AT least 19 families in Chiredzi South were left homeless after a heavy hailstorm destroyed their homesteads during the Easter Holiday.
Acting Chiredzi District Administrator who is also the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) district chairperson Mr Ndeya Nyede said Government is yet to assess the magnitude of the destruction to ascertain the nature of assistance needed.
“I can confirm there are families who were left homeless in Masukwe area, Headman Gezani under Chief Sengwe after a hailstorm hit the area over Easter.
The hailstorm hit the villages on Saturday. We asked police at Chikombedzi Police Camp to investigate. They said 19 homesteads were destroyed .
However, the figure could be higher because police had challenges in accessing other villages as the area is mountainous,” said Mr Nyede.
He said the villages are too far from the main road and his committee needed at least two days to assess the magnitude of the damage.
“We’ve approached Plan International Zimbabwe here in Chiredzi so that they can also assist us.
“I believe they are making their own assessment today but as the District CPU, we are going there tomorrow (today). We have also notified our Provincial Administrator Mr Fungai Mbetsa and Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Shuvai Mahofa of the disaster,” he said
Meanwhile, Masvingo Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Ailes Baloyi said there could be more families affected by the hailstorm in Masukwe area and Village 2.
“Police only reached the homesteads which are easily accessible in Masukwe area. The local leadership is assisting the affected families with accommodation while others are staying with relatives,” said Cde Baloyi from Chiredzi South.
The destruction comes in the wake of Cyclone Dineo which affected some areas in Masvingo like Chivi and Mwenezi in February where several villagers’ homesteads were marooned and destroyed by floods after bursting of Shashe River. The river flooded following the spilling of Muzhwi Dam upstream.
At Lundi High School in Mwenezi more than 700 girls together with other 23 workers including a pastor at the school had to be rescued by soldiers from the Zimbabwe National Army as they were marooned at the height of raging floods from the nearby Runde River.