Take flood warnings seriously

HARARE - The Meteorology department has warned people to prepare for more flooding with heavy and persistent rain forecast to sweep across the country.

In Harare, where the storms continue to wreak havoc in areas already hit hard by flooding, members of the public rescued people from floodwater overnight on Sunday, according to the police.

They included Godknows Marufu, 38, Makariel Chinongwa, 28, and Gabriel Majonga, 37, who were trapped in their vehicle.

The number of severe flood warnings, indicating danger to life, is rising and the forecast over the next few days means more may be issued.

Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, said they had also established that Kuwadzana Flyover had been blocked by logs, leading to unprecedented traffic congestion.

“We are still looking for the occupant of a Toyota Corolla registration number ACK 5001,” Charamba said in a notice yesterday.

“The vehicle was found abandoned with no one inside and the following valuables, Nokia and Samsung cell phones, spectacles and car keys were recovered.”

Several houses in Mabelreign, Ashdown Park, Westlea and Tynwald were also affected by rising water levels.

“The ZRP is appealing to all motorists and the general public to be on high alert,” Charamba said, warning the public to monitor the water situation and not to cross flooded rivers.

The flooding comes amid continuing criticism of the government’s response.

Isn’t it high time government sets aside cash to help with flood repairs and maintenance? It is the State’s duty to provide unrestricted help for those affected.

Clearly, the government is not doing enough to mitigate this crisis.

The stormy weather continues to disrupt road traffic. The road network is buckling and breaking down as a result of waves crashing into it. This has left hundreds of people effectively cut off. The damage has prompted renewed calls for soul searching.

It is vital for our communities to have a responsive government. And it is absolutely doable to mitigate this crisis.

The traffic jam witnessed on Sunday night cost the country’s economy and could put off would-be investors permanently.

With all due respect, the government’s response so far has been delayed and confused.

Government needs to pump more money into the flood protection budget. Those in power now and in the future must take climate change seriously from now on. Burying the head in the sand is not an option.

It is going to mean a major reallocation of resources. This country is under attack from the weather. It is partly our responsibility to fight against this.

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