Masvingo, (New Ziana) – Civil disaster management authorities in Masvingo have began evacuating people living downstream of spilling Tugwi-Mukosi dam, who face danger from expected flooding.
The dam, the country’s biggest inland water body, spilled for the first time since its construction in 2017, raising fears people living along rivers downstream could face floods.
The Masvingo Provincial Development Coordinator’s office said at the weekend precautionary disaster prevention measures, including evacuations, had began.
It said six buses had been provided by the national Civil Protection Unit for the evacuations, and the exercise was due to start immediately.
“As for Tugwi Mukosi, National CPU, has provided six (6) buses, to help us evacuate people in Tugwi-Mukosi basin, that is Masvingo side and Chivi side commencing tomorrow 23/01/21. Masvingo side, our evacuation centres will be Gunikuni School and DDF centre, for Chivi – Zunga primary, Shongamiti Secondary and Ngundu Secondary,” it said in a statement.
A few years ago, flooding in the area affected thousands of people who had to be evacuated to a holding centre at nearby Chingwizi.
This time around, authorities said adequate planning had been made to avoid a similar disaster.
Masvingo, like the rest of the country, has been pounded by heavy incessant rains which has resulted in most dams filling up, and rivers breaking banks.