Zimbabwe Flood Update #2 (as of 23 January 2013)
3 children die in Beitbridge, another 4,400 people affected by floods across Zimbabwe
Heavy rains this week continued to cause damage to lives and livelihoods, affecting an estimated 4,475 people across Zimbabwe whose houses have either been submerged in water or completely destroyed. In Beitbridge, three children died after a house collapsed following heavy rains and gashing floodwaters from the Limpopo river banks which burst after a rainstorm. Another couple was swept away in a vehicle. More deaths have been reported across the country but cannot be verified at this stage. The heavy downpours have also caused major damages to agricultural lands, destroying maize crops (the main staple), as well as disrupting public services such as road transportation and education. The Zimbabwean and South African border authorities temporarily shut down the border crossing at Beitbridge on 20 January following a rainstorm that flooded the major highway and the New Limpopo Bridge which facilitate both personal and commercial traffic between Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as countries such as Zambia.
The Department of Civil Protection (DCP) warns that water flows into the country’s major rivers and dams continue to significantly rise due to heavy rains, increasing the risk of major flooding in coming days or weeks.
Major flooding threats remain high in Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central and Chikwalakwala in Matebelebaland South which are traditionally flood prone areas and have already faced some minor flooding incidents. On 21 January, the Air Force of Zimbabwe was deployed to evacuate villagers from Chikwalakwala.
The main provinces that have been affected by floods and where humanitarian consequences have required response from the Government and humanitarian partners are in Matebeleland South, Matebeleland North,
Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Masvingo and Midlands. The DCP, supported by OCHA, IOM, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, Plan International and Christian Care have conducted assessments in affected locations and are providing humanitarian assistance. There is an estimated 4,475 people affected across Zimbabwe; IOM has verified 2,820 people through assessments. IOM has been leading response in support to the DCP, on emergency shelter and other Non-Food Items (NFIs), providing assistance to an estimated 1,155 people with tarpaulins and NFIs (blankets, cooking utensils, clothes and hygiene kits). There is an estimated 2,325 people still awaiting assistance that is currently being mobilized.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.