The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 50 Mt Darwin Families Living in the Open

OVER 50 Mt Darwin families, whose houses were destroyed by violent storms, three weeks ago are still living in the open. The families are scrounging for food after their reserves were affected by the storm.

Mashonaland Central Governor Advocate Martin Dinha yesterday appealed for assistance for the families.

He visited the affected area on Tuesday and established that the families did not have shelter and food.

"I was horrified by the level of destruction. Most people are still sleeping in open spaces while a few have repaired their houses," he said.

The villagers experienced similar storms last year, but at a smaller scale

The Government, World Vision, International Organisation for Migration and the Ministry of Water Resources Development and Management assisted the victims last year.

Adv Dinha said he would engage the Forestry Commission and launch a reforestation programme in the area to encourage the planting of trees.

He said the area was severely affected by the violent winds due to de-forestation.

"There is need for windbreaks and we are targeting to plant about 5 000 trees in the area," he said.

The violent winds left 17 people hospitalised and destroyed houses and classroom blocks at three schools.

According to the Meteorological Services Department, the violent winds that hit the area were localised and could not be detected by computer-generated weather systems which the department uses in forecasting.

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