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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

More than 200 families affected by early flash floods in Beitbridge

By Innocent Nxumalo

THE Beitbridge Civil Protection Unit and the local authority have agreed to come up with a permanent solution for flash flood-prone areas in the border town of Beitbridge.

Having endured a terrible start to the rainy season, residents of Beitbridge’s Dulibadzimu suburb are yet to recover from the devastating impact of flash floods that left many families counting losses last week.

Each moment dark clouds drift towards Beitbridge, Dulibadzimu residents start silent prayers of mercy as they frantically make contours and ridges in front of their homes.

“For us, the rain season comes with nightmares. When it rains at night, we wake up in a pool of water right inside our bedrooms. What is more worrying is that we experience this almost on an annual basis and we feel hard done by our council,” one of Dulibadzimu residents told ZBC News.

Another added, “The drainage system here is just a mess, water comes straight into our homes and it’s no fun.”

Beitbridge Civil Protection Unit chairperson, Mrs Sikhangezile Mafu said the government is mobilising resources to continue assisting over 250 families affected by the flash floods.

“While we move in to assist affected families, it is necessary that the council employ a long-term solution because we cannot be witnessing such catastrophes each time it rains. We need to decisively deal with this,” she said.

Beitbridge Mayor and councillor, Munyaradzi Chitsuke said the local authority is working on plans to redevelop Beitbridge’s oldest suburb through public-private partnerships.

“Dulibadzimu floods are giving us sleepless nights as the council. We are working on strategies of building our capacity to relocate those houses in the long run. Strategic partnerships with developers to renew this old suburb might be the ultimate solution,” he said.

The local authority has also hinted at plans to de-silt the Wamlala River which is now flowing into some parts of the Dulibadzimu suburb.

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