THE City of Harare yesterday advised residents residing in low-lying areas to vacate their homes to avoid being swept away by torrential rains.
Rains have been pounding the city and other areas across the country following a prolonged dry-spell.
In Harare, a poor drainage system has made the situation worse, making some roads impassable while water is finding its way into people’s homes, destroying electrical gadgets.
In a statement yesterday, the City of Harare urged residents to exercise caution.
“As heavy rains pound Harare, his worship the mayor, councillor Jacob Mafume has called on residents with houses on low-lying areas like Budiriro Paddocks area, Kuwadzana Paddocks area and all other low-lying areas to evacuate their houses as massive floods have been predicted,” the city said.
“Last week, two people died in Highfield and Budiriro. In Budiriro, a six-year-old boy was swept away by floods last week and his body was only recovered the day before yesterday 5km away.”
As of yesterday, there had been no reports of other casualties.
Yesterday, several detours on the Harare and Bulawayo to Beitbridge roads were impassable after being washed away by persistent heavy rains.
A number of vehicles, including heavy trucks, were stuck at different detours.
A Malawi-bound haulage truck landed on its side at a detour near Beitbridge while attempting to negotiate through the corrugated road.
A trucker on his way to South Africa said detours for the incomplete sections of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway had become treacherous.
“You reduce speed to near zero and this exposes the driver and goods. Some thieves can jump on the trucks to offload goods and because you are alone, there is little one can do. You try to drive on and save yourself,” he said.
“From Ngundu to Rutenga and the detour just before Rutenga and just before getting into Beitbridge, the detours are dangerous.”
Last week’s rains caused widespread devastation, while nearly 15 houses in Budiriro 4 were left flooded.
In a statement last week, police said several people were marooned by floodwaters and were rescued by the ZRP Sub-Aqua Unit.
Early this week, the Meteorological Services Department warned that heavy rains accompanied by violent storms would hit the country until Sunday.
In October, four children from the same family died after a hut they were sleeping in was struck by a bolt of lightning in Wadzenenga village under Chief Nyashanu in Buhera, Manicaland province.