Harare (New Ziana) – At least six more tropical cyclones are expected to hit Zimbabwe during the current rain season, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said on Wednesday.
Speaking at an event to receive an assortment of weather equipment donated by the African Development Bank to the Meteorological Services Department, Moyo said while Cyclone Batsirai is almost gone without damaging parts of Zimbabwe, the country remained at risk of the six predicted Cyclones.
“By the grace of God, for now, Cyclone Batsirai is decimating and has not damaged us as Tropical Depression Anna has done.
“However, according to the Meteorological Services Department, there is a projection of six more cyclones during the remainder of the current rain season,” he said.
Moyo urged the public to remain on high alert for the impending cyclones.
“Let us take these warnings very seriously. The country must know that we are not out of the woods,” he said.
Moyo later told New Ziana that the government had set aside resources to help victims of future natural disasters.
“We have learnt a great deal from the other cyclones that have happened. Once the Meteorological Services Department tells us the intensity and direction; we definitely will strengthen the areas that are going to be affected because we now have latitude to move things and from our own funds as government, we are prepared and with assistance from our cooperating partners as well,” he said.
Moyo said Tropical Depression Anna left a trail of destruction with over 1 500 houses having been damaged.
“Tropical Storm Anna compounded the situation and cumulative data for the 2021 / 2022 rainfall season indicate that about 1 557 households had their houses partially damaged while some were completely destroyed. More than 50 schools were damaged as well as roads, water, sanitation, health and social infrastructure,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Barbra Rwodzi said government was seized with capacitating the Meteorological Services Department’s early warning systems.
“I am pleased to announce that the government of Zimbabwe has since procured the long awaited radars for the Meteorological Services Department.
“We expect delivery to start in the next few months. This will no doubt improve our capability but we still need some ancillary pieces of equipment to complement what we now have,” she said.
AfDB country manager Moono Mupotola said the weather monitoring equipment being handed over was worth US$226,790.
The assortment of goods which includes digital barometers, automatic weather stations, digital stations, digital thermometers, standard rain gauges and measuring cylinders was procured through the post Cyclone Idai Recovery project which was launched in August 2019 and expected to end in August 2023.
“Our ability to detect, monitor, analyse and forecast weather-related disasters, allows sufficient time for the affected communities and relevant government entities to enact their disaster management plans,” said Mupotola.