13 March 2017

Zimbabwe: Elderly, Infants Hang On to Dear Life in Floods

Masvingo — SOME villagers in southern Zimbabwe have miraculously survived death from floods induced by the Cyclone Dineo, by sheltering on trees for hours,. Zimbabwe is reeling from the deadly cyclone that has pummeled Mozambique, Malawi and north-eastern parts of South Africa. More than 200 people have been killed by floods in Zimbabwe while 150 000 villagers were left homeless since late February. The provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland are worst affected with houses destroyed and livestock swept away. In the oldest city of Masvingo , some women recounted how they survived death by a whisker. Nyaradzo Makholiso (38) said her life was saved by a tree branch as she watched her house being swept away at Nzviyo Village, Chivi district.

She managed to climb up a tree with her two-year-old child clung on her back. "I owe my life to this tree. God purposefully planted this tree near our homestead for a reason. It is my saviour," she told media. She lost all her food, clothes, documents and livestock because of the floods. Makholiso's neighbour, Maud Goredema (65) also survived death by finding sanctuary on a tree, together with her young grandchildren aged two years and two months old. They spent hours on a tree while floods ravaged their two-roomed home. The survivors have no source of livelihood. The cash-strapped government of President Robert Mugabe is struggling to cope with the humanitarian crisis and appealed to nongovernmental organisations to intervene. United Nations resident coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, said, "Sadly the districts that are affected by the flooding are the same areas that have been hard hit by the drought in the past two years." -CAJ News

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