Flash floods destroy $110 000 property

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THE Bulawayo Fire Brigade has revealed that the flash floods that pounded the city on Sunday caused an estimated damage to property worth $110 000.

Despite the heavy downpour, supply dams located outside the province recorded little inflows, with statistics showing that the water levels have decreased compared to early this month.

The fire department reported that on the day, they received 18 calls reporting flash floods from Nketa, Sizinda, Pumula, Njube, among other areas.

Chief fire officer, Linos Phiri yesterday said they attended seven cases of flooded houses.

“At house number 7959/28 Sizinda, the brigade opened weep holes and the occupants were advised to erect a ridge at the gate to stop inflow of water from upper ground into the property. All household property which included electrical appliances and wooden furniture were damaged by water,” said Phiri, adding that all consumables were soaked.

“The property loss at the house is estimated at $30 000.”

Phiri said at house numbers 30289, 30290 and 30291 Entumbane suburb the storm water destroyed perimeter walls, furniture and food worth $20 000 per household.

“The brigade observed that the storm drains were very small to contain the volume of water, hence it was spilling over the channel into the properties,” Phiri said, adding that some homes did not incur quantifiable damages.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo City Council has revealed that despite heavy downpours, the province recorded little inflows into major supply dams outside the city.

Bulawayo’s catchment area is mostly in Matabeleland South as all the supply dams are in that province.

However, the dams within the Bulawayo confines are Khami and Umguza which are not used by the council for domestic consumption due to raw sewage contamination.

Council statistics as of February 17 showed that Insiza Mayfair was 37,16%, Inyankuni 52,44%, Lower Ncema 17,17%, Umzingwane which was decommissioned was at 4,44%, Upper Ncema also decommission, 10,85% and Mtshabezi Dam was at 57,40%.

However, late on Tuesday, town clerk Christopher Dube in a notice to residents said only little rains that fell in parts of Matabeleland South fed into some of the council’s supply dams.

“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise members of the public that the dam statistics as at February 24 are 35,22%. The city did receive some rains from late afternoon of Sunday February 23 in the catchment area … and inflows were received into Insiza and Inyankuni dams,” Dube said.

As at February 24, Insiza Mayfair received 22,5 millimetres, Inyankuni, 29,5mm, Lower Ncema 38,5mm, Umzingwane 10,5mm and Upper Ncema 0,0mm, the total rainwater inflows recorded was 101mm, while there was no record for Mtshabezi Dam inflows.

The city is maintaining its 96-hour water-shedding schedule to residential areas.