Hailstorm kills livestock, leaves 50 Bulilima families homeless
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