Hail­storm kills live­stock, leaves 50 Bulil­ima fam­i­lies home­less

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu

ABOUT 50 home­steads were de­stroyed by a hail­storm which hit sev­eral vil­lages in Bulil­ima District dur­ing the weekend and many fam­i­lies there are now in need of tem­po­rary shel­ter and food.

The hail­storm also killed live­stock and de­stroyed houses on Satur­day night.

A lo­cal chief yes­ter­day de­scribed the in­ci­dent as a tragedy and said peo­ple were in need of tem­po­rary shel­ter, cloth­ing and food.

Bulil­ima District Administrator Mrs Ethel Moyo con­firmed the in­ci­dent and said mem­bers of the Civil Pro­tec­tion Unit had been de­ployed to as­sess the dam­age.

“I re­ceived a re­port that sev­eral home­steads and live­stock were de­stroyed by rains over the weekend. I’ve not re­ceived de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on the ex­tent of the dam­age but as the CPU we are set to travel to the area to as­sess the dam­age.

“From there we will then mo­bilise re­sources to as­sist the af­fected with what­ever is needed,’’ she said.

The coun­cil­lor of Bam­badzi Ward, Mr Zoolakes Ny­athi, said about 50 home­steads in dif­fer­ent vil­lages in his area had been af­fected.

He said the rains started at around 7PM and lasted for about 30 min­utes but caused a lot of de­struc­tion.

Mr Ny­athi said vil­lagers who had their home­steads com­pletely de­stroyed spent the last two nights sleep­ing in the open. He said vil­lagers were also in need of food. “At first our area ex­pe­ri­enced harsh winds which trans­lated into a hail­storm. The winds were se­vere and sev­eral homes had their roof blown away. The hail­stones were large and they smashed win­dows and prop­erty.

“I con­ducted a sur­vey after the in­ci­dent and noted that about 50 home­steads had been af­fected. Live­stock had also been killed although I’m yet to as­cer­tain the num­ber. There are also cases of cat­tle and don­keys that died while some were in­jured,” Mr Ny­athi said.

One of the af­fected vil­lagers from Mbimba 1 area, Mr Nku­l­uleko Nde­bele, said when the rains in­ten­si­fied he had nowhere to go with his fam­ily.

He said the roof to his main house was blown away while the other two huts were de­stroyed by the rains.

“I’ve never seen so much rain and so much de­struc­tion. I had 30 chick­ens in my fowl run and they were all killed. I’m missing four cat­tle and I’m not sure if they are alive.

“I’ve a fam­ily of four chil­dren and all our food was de­stroyed by rains. I also lost a lot of prop­erty and other valu­ables. I don’t know how I will man­age to re­pair my home be­cause I don’t have money,” Mr Nde­bele said.

Chief Mad­lam­buzi said there was a need to as­sist the af­fected fam­i­lies who ur­gently re­quire tem­po­rary shel­ter, cloth­ing and food.

He said vil­lagers had tried to con­trib­ute food to as­sist their af­fected neigh­bours but what was needed was out of their reach.

Chief Mad­lam­buzi de­scribed the in­ci­dent as a great tragedy.

“It is sad­den­ing that we were anx­iously wait­ing for the rains all this time and now they have come but they have caused de­struc­tion.

“Peo­ple are now stranded as they have lost their homes and source of liveli­hood,” he said. — @ DubeMatutu.

Mrs Ce­cilia Alexan­der

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