Zimbabwe: Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRZW010


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since December 2014, Zimbabwe has experienced continuous heavy rainfall, which has led to widespread flooding across the country, with the worst affected provinces including: Manicaland,
Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Midlands. Early warning and monitoring data evidence indicates that the flooding will soon extend to traditionally high flood risk communities in the Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Matebeleland South provinces.

According to preliminary assessments, approximately 6,000 people (1,200 households) have been affected, of which 2,500 people (500 households) are in urgent need of assistance. Ten (10) people have died from drowning while, one child died following the collapse of their house, while many more have been injured, displaced and left homeless. Many houses have collapsed due to flooding, particularly those in informal settlements such as the high density peri-urban suburb of Harare Urban (Mashonaland Central), where houses were at different stages of construction. The houses are built of bricks but using no cement thus making them prone to damage from the incessant rains. Belongings have also been washed away including food and livelihoods items. Water supply and sanitation infrastructure have been flooded and contaminated, including 70 boreholes in the Mashonaland Central province (Mbire district) alone, which has increased the risk of waterborne diseases. The flood-affected population has moved to higher ground, with some seeking refuge in schools.

Zimbabwe's weather department has issued flood alerts indicating that the heavy rains are expected to continue with downpours of more than three inches (nearly eight centimetres) forecast in the northern and eastern regions, accompanied by gusty winds. In a statement On 2 January 2015, the government's Civil Protection Department advised affected communities to find shelter on higher ground. It also warned that roofs could be blown off and lowcost and mud-built houses risk collapse from water saturation – a scenario that has already started as the rains have continued. A looming threat of back flows into tributaries of most major rivers including Zambezi is expected to trigger flooding along the tributaries, while approximately 9,000 refugees in the Tongogara refugee camp are also at the threat of flooding from the rapidly swelling Save River.