22 November 2012

Zambia: Rain Wreaks Havoc in Solwezi

Two children have died following heavy rainfall in Solwezi.

TWO children have died following heavy rain in Solwezi at the weekend.

One of the children was electrocuted by a live Zesco cable which fell after the rain while the other was struck by lightning.

Solwezi District Commissioner Dennis Kanyankula said the boy had unknowingly touched a fallen Zesco cable and was instantly killed.

Mr Kanyankula said while assessing the extent of the damage on Monday, he witnessed a seven-year-old boy Blessings Nyirenda being electrocuted in the Dairy Farm area.

He said his office has also received a report of a child, identified as Joseph Kalaluka, being struck by lightning on Sunday in Zambia Township.

The heavy rain followed by a storm left at least 70 families homeless after their houses were destroyed.

Also damaged were several public buildings in the area including Kifubwa Basic School where five classrooms and two offices had their roofs blown-off while grade nine final examinations have been disrupted.

Solwezi District education authorities are now transporting Grade nine pupils from Kifubwa to Kyaputala Basic School where they have continued to write their examinations.

Mr Kanyakula and officers from the District Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit visited the affected areas and the school yesterday to assess the extent of the damage.

He said at least 35 houses collapsed in Manyama alone.

In Kifubwa and Kawama over a dozen houses had their iron sheets blown off.

Among the people left homeless is St Kizito Catholic Church Parish priest whose house had the roof ripped off following the heavy down pour.

The District Commissioner said the mourners and mothers shelters at Solwezi General Hospital also had their roofs blown off while three churches were razed in Kifubwa.

Meanwhile, Mr Kanyakula said the vulnerability of the families whose houses were destroyed is still being assessed and those who are found to be worst affected will need tents and food aid.

ZANIS

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