Govt to finish 69 houses for Tsholotsho flood victims
THE Government has promised to finish the construction of the remaining 69 houses for the Tsholotsho flood victims once resources have been made available amid fears that the flood prone area may again be affected by floods this rainy season.
The promise comes amid revelations that some families were going back to the areas they were removed from to revive what remained of their homesteads.
In an interview with Sunday News, Tsholotsho Rural District Council chairperson Councillor Esau Siwela said the Government was working on finishing construction of the 69 houses early 2019 as the process had been stopped due to the unavailability of resources.
“Of the 319 houses that had to be constructed, the Government has so far completed 250 houses with the remaining 69 either at construction or at foundation stage. The President was supposed to officially hand over the houses to the victims in November but owing to unavailability of resources we couldn’t finish the houses, a situation that has seen some villagers living in tents awaiting the houses to be completed.
“The delays are due to the economic challenges we are facing as a country which have resulted in the scarcity of building material but the Provincial Minister, Cde Richard Moyo (Matabeleland North) has promised to make follow ups until the process is finished,” said Clr Siwela.
He added that some people had moved into the finished 250 houses with their families.
“As we are in the rainy season some Tshino and Esawudweni villagers have moved into the finished 250 three-roomed houses and those who are still waiting for the remaining houses have been provided with tents to use as temporary shelter.”
Clr Siwela also noted that not much progress had been made on the clinic and police base which was to be established closer to the villagers’ homes.
“The clinic has been pegged but not much has been done but a borehole has been drilled in the area. As for the police base which is 170km from Sipepa they are likely to move so that they can be closer to where the people were relocated as criminals are benefiting from the relocation arrangements,” he said.
Clr Siwela also urged villagers to co-operate with the Government and avoid returning to their old homesteads which were destroyed by the floods as others were said to have returned to the low lying Gwayi River area where their livestock remained.
A total of 859 affected villagers were resettled from the Gwayi area owing to flooding and were sheltered at Sipepa Hospital where a transit camp was set up in February last year before the construction of the houses by the Government.