By Tafara Chikumira
AT least three districts in the Midlands province are set to experience severe flooding during the festive season as the province is set to receive normal to above-normal rainfall beginning next month.
Mr Ishmael Zinyewere, Midlands Provincial Chief Meteorological Officer said, “What we managed to observe from our weather forecast is that we will have some heavy downpours across the province from the beginning of December going forward. This is something very normal during this period.
“However, we have areas like Mberengwa around Buchwa Mountain there and Gokwe North and South where we expect severe flooding for more than a week. In other low-lying areas, we might expect a flush flood which might last a day or two. We urge the DDC members in such areas to give people warning ahead of the said period so that they stay prepared.”
The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) said it has put in place some contingent measures to deal with the anticipated weather phenomenon.
“It is very encouraging that some local authorities like Gweru city council have managed to clear some drainage systems in preparation for the rainy season. I can safely say they have managed to clear about 80 %of the drainage in the city. The situation is the same in some local authorities as well. I am also informed that some evacuation centres have since been identified where people will be housed once the situation goes out of control.
“We are currently in the process of sourcing for requirements for people who will be sheltered in such centres. Our clinics and other health centres are also prepared for diseases that are likely to affect people during this period,” said Abiot Marongwe, Midlands Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution.
Flash floods have already affected some parts of the country at the beginning of this rainfall season, with Beitbridge among the hardest-hit districts.
Normal to above normal rainfall is expected during this summer cropping season, with people in flood-prone areas being urged to be on high alert and to move to higher ground whenever they notice rising water levels.