Six juveniles drown in flooded rivers

MASVINGO - At least six juveniles have drowned in one week.

Peter Zhanero, the Masvingo police spokesperson, said the children drowned while playing in flooded rivers in Masvingo’s rural areas.

The juveniles, aged between eight and 13, drowned in Gutu while swimming in flooded rivers.

“We are appealing to parents in the communal areas around the province not to let their children play and swim in flooded rivers during this rainy season, as we have received sad reports of minors drowning in just less than a week,” Zhanero told the Daily News.

The minors drowned from 30 December to date and there are fears more deaths could occur if the rains continue.

Zhanero said the latest case of drowning happened last Friday in Majaya Village under Chief Marozva in Bikita, where an eight-year-old drowned while swimming in a flooded river.

“This brings to six the number of children who have died while swimming in the flooded rivers this rainy season,” he said, adding he could not release the names of the victims because they were minors.

Another 13-year-old girl also drowned while swimming on New Year’s Day in Machakwa Village under Chief Mukanganwi in Bikita.

The girl died just two days before another child also drowned in the same district.

Another tragedy had hit Gutu district on December 30 when three kids drowned at the same time after a flooded river burst its banks while they were swimming.

“The most painful incident happened on December 30 in Mushaviri Dam in Gutu where three children aged 9,10 and 14 drowned,” Zhanero said.

Zhanero urged parents to take extra caution.

“We urge parents to closely monitor their children who play in rivers and other water bodies during this rainy season,” he said.

“They must not leave them unattended as this leads to loss of lives.”

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