Heavy rains cause widespread flooding in Bulawayo

Floods in the Bulawayo area. Picture from David Coltart’s Facebook page

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
04 January 2014

Unusually heavy rains have caused havoc across much of Bulawayo, damaging houses and roads but have most importantly improved the dire water situation in the city.

Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us above normal rains caused widespread flooding and damage to several homes, particularly in the high density suburbs of Magwegwe and Luveve.

The heavy rains have also increased the inflow into the reservoirs and dams that supply Bulawayo with water. The improvement in the water position in the city had brought cheer to the residents and the farming community.

The Bulawayo city council announced it has lifted water restrictions with immediate effect following significant inflows into the city’s six supply dams.

Saungweme said in some parts of the city there were traffic jams due to waterlogging as vehicles had to negotiate flooded streets after choked drains flooded the road network.

Residents and pedestrians were seen wading through streets flooded by rain and overflowing drains.

‘Council had just repaired most of the roads and the flooding has damaged the same roads again,’ Saungweme said.

Elsewhere ten villagers in Gutu East district were airlifted by an Airforce of Zimbabwe helicopter after they spent over six hours marooned at a flooded Ruti Dam on Sunday. The villagers from Chitsa and Gudza communal lands spent over six hours on top of trees.

Reports say they were picking up fish falling from the flooded dam wall, as heavy rains continue to pound Masvingo, one of the provinces experiencing long periods of extremely hot weather and dry conditions.

On Saturday, a couple in Chiredzi spent the whole night on top of rocks after they were also marooned in Mungwezi River. Jayson Mavuvu and his wife Esther Bhunu were marooned while they were coming back from their in-laws.

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