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Families isolated in northern Zimbabwe after heavy rains

HARARE, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — At least 32 families have been marooned by floods in Binga District in the northern part of Zimbabwe following heavy rains that have been pounding the areas since Saturday.

Of the families, 21 are still marooned while 11 are being assisted to reach safer zones, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works said in a statement Tuesday.

“The rapid assessment by the District Civil Protection Committee indicates that there could be more people affected considering the settlement patterns in Binga District,” the ministry said.

The ministry said it was currently mobilizing resources including Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopters to evacuate the affected families to safer ground.

The families have lost their pole and dagga homes, stored food and livestock, among other precious belongings.

Several families in Hwange District, also in Matabeleland North Province, were recently affected by floods that destroyed their property.

The country’s meteorological services department warned recently that the country will receive heavy rains which could cause flooding in some areas.

The rains come after a mid-season dry spell that has affected most crops, particularly those in dry areas of the country.

A drought last year has also left 7.7 million people, about half the country’s population, in need of food aid between January and April this year, according to the World Food Program.

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