HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua)
-- At least 117 people have died due to
heavy rains that have been received in Zimbabwe in recent months
while 106 others have been injured by lightning, the Civil
Protection Unit (CPU) said Monday.
More than 1,930 houses
and rural huts were also damaged countrywide, leaving 635 families
A total of 71 schools, five health institutions and 71 dams had
their walls breached while several roads and bridges were washed
away due to the incessant rains.
Zimbabwe has been receiving heavy rains since January, resulting
in most dams spilling and heightening the risk of flooding in low
lying parts of the country.
The country was last week hit by the downgraded Cyclone Dineo,
which has left a trail of destruction in most parts of the country,
particularly in the low-lying Tsholotsho District in the north west
where at least 850 people including children and the elderly have
been displaced by flooding.
The villagers have been safely evacuated and are currently being
housed at a local primary school.
"Tsholotsho is arguably the most severely affected district in
the country to date and a considerable number of households have
lost their homes to flooding or excessive moisture," the CPU said.
The local school was flooded and children could not access the
school, the CPU added.
The government had responded to the crisis in Tsholotsho by
providing basic needs such as food, water, shelter and health
Humanitarian aid agencies the Red Cross Society and International
Organization for Migration provided the affected villagers with
clothing, shoes, blankets, mosquito nets and toiletries while UNICEF
provided a class room tent to the affected school.
The CPU said the floods had also resulted in straying of wild
animals in Lupane District.
"Due to the flooding, lions, zebras, and buffaloes are being
spotted in some areas thereby causing fear in affected communities,"
the CPU said.
The floods had also caused outbreaks of crop pests.
Elsewhere, the floods had damaged schools, clinics, power and
water infrastructure as well as road networks in the Midlands
Province where efforts were underway to repair the damaged
The heavy rains are coming on the backdrop of a devastating
El-Nino induced drought last year which left a quarter of the
population in need of food aid.