Harare, (New Ziana) – The government has availed $100 million to finance disaster preparedness efforts in the wake of tropical storm Chalane which hit the country on Wednesday morning, a cabinet minister has said.
Chalane, initially envisaged to be a cyclone, lost intensity before the hitting the country, and has now been classified as a tropical storm.
It is expected to sweep through Zimbabwe from December 30 to January 1, 2021, causing heavy rains of up to 100mm in some areas and flooding in low lying areas.
Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists districts including Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutare, Gutu, Buhera and Bikita will be among the most affected.
“Following the early warning issued by the Meteorological Services Department, Government, under the Emergency Services Sub Committee, convened its first preparedness planning meeting on 23 December 2020 and came up with an action plan,” she said.
“Treasury released $100 million towards implementation of the action plan which was distributed among Manicaland, Masvingo, Midlands, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Mashonaland West provinces, and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.”
Evacuations in Chimanimani commenced on December 29, she said, adding temporary shelters for affected people had been equipped with tents, blankets, food items, toiletries and other essentials.
Transportation was also availed for those who volunteered to be evacuated.
Mutsvangwa urged citizens to be on high alert to prevent loss of life during the storm.
“Citizens are advised to be on the lookout for flash flooding, mudslides, landslides, falling debris from destructive winds and open drains that may be covered with water,” she said.