More villagers homeless after Masvingo hailstorm

Walter Mswazie / Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Correspondents
THE number of families who were left homeless following a hailstorm that hit Masukwe area under Chief Sengwe in Chiredzi during the Easter holiday now stands at 25.

It has emerged that some villages in the area were, due to accessibility challenges given that the area is mountainous, not previously assessed when 19 families were found to be homeless.

Acting Chiredzi District Administrator who is also the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) District Chairman Mr Ndeya Nyede said a team comprising Plan International Zimbabwe officials and personnel from the CPU went to the affected area on Thursday for an assessment.

They established that there were more families whose homes were destroyed by the hailstorm.

“We went to the area together with Plan International personnel from Chiredzi to assess the extent of the damage.  According to our assessment the figure that we had been initially given as the number of homesteads destroyed had risen to 25. Initially we had received a report saying there were 19 homesteads destroyed,” said Mr Nyede.

He said the CPU was still compiling a comprehensive report on the actual magnitude of the damage caused by the hailstorm.

Mr Nyede said Plan International Zimbabwe had already offered to assist with tents and food among other requirements.

“Most of the destroyed homesteads were not properly built that you could see them sagging. The hailstorm was heavy; the infrastructure could not withstand the hailstorm.

“Plan International Zimbabwe has offered to assist the affected villagers with tents, food and non-food items. There is another organisation already on the ground and a few tents have been provided for temporary shelter to those in dire need,” said Mr Nyede, without mentioning the name of the organisation.

He said the nearby Masukwe Primary School was not affected.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has warned that there is likely to be violent storms across the country today, urging people not to seek shelter under trees and not to use electrical gadgets during the tempest.

“It should be cloudy, cool and rather windy with rain-showers that may be potentially thundery. Rain amounting to at least 30mm cannot be ruled out across the country.

“If the weather circulation dynamics do not suddenly change, this cloud band and associated rain will most likely be confined to the northern areas (all three Mashonaland provinces) only,” read the MSD statement.

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