Ministerial Statement - 2 March 2017 - State of Disaster in Flood Affected Areas

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT
DECLARATION OF STATE OF DISASTER IN FLOOD AFFECTED AREAS

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):
Madam Speaker, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe has declared a State of Disaster for flood affected communal, resettlement and urban areas in the country and this is in line with Section 27 (2) of the Civil Protection Act, Chapter 20 (6): 1989. The declaration will be in force for the next three months.

The 2016/2017 rainfall season has ushered in a trail of destruction in the following provinces: Matabeleland North (Thsolotsho, Lupane, Nkayi, Binga, Umguza and Hwange urban. Matabeleland South, (Matobo, Umzingwane, Bulilima, Insiza, Beitbridge and Gwanda). Midlands (Gokwe North, Gokwe South and Mberengwa). Masvingo (Chivi, Mwenezi, Chiredzi, Masvingo and Bikita). Mashonaland West (Kariba, Zvimba and Hurungwe. Manicaland (Mutare rural, Mutasa, Buhera, Chipinge and Chimanimani). Mashonaland Central (Guruve and Mt. Darwin) and Chitungwiza, Mabvuku, Epworth, Waterfalls, Hopley and Budiro in Harare Metropolitan Province. The worst affected district is Tsholotsho where a total of 859 people were left homeless and are currently in a transit camp and an additional 100 households are at rise.

The impact of the wet season including the effects of the tropical depression caused by Cyclone Dineo exacerbated the situation as this has left more than 1 985 people homeless. About 246 human lives were lost due to drowning and lightning strikes. More than 128 people were injured and approximately 2 579 homesteads were damaged. There was extensive damage to about 74 schools, five health institutions, about 70 small and medium dams have breached and extensive damage to road infrastructure.

The urban areas have not been spared either. In Harare Metropolitan Province, the excessively wet season caused urban flooding in Chitungwiza, Epworth, Mabvuku, Budiriro, Hopley and Waterfalls among others. In Old St. Mary’s suburb in Chitungwiza, nine aged houses collapsed and more than 2 500 houses are at risk of collapsing. More than 500 aged houses are at risk of collapsing in Mabvuku.

The affected population in communal, resettlement and urban areas are in dire need of assistance to rebuild their homes, rehabilitation of social institutions as well as recover lost property and livelihoods.

Given the extensive damage following the impacts of the 2016/2017 extremely wet season, a declaration of state of disaster has been recommended for affected
communal, resettlement and urban areas in order to mobiles humanitarian assistance from public, private sector, development partners and other well wishers.
The flood disaster is to be managed by the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Committee under my chairmanship as well as sub-national civil protection structures under the chairmanship of Provincial and District Administrators. I thank you.

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