Thousands at risk as rains strain Zimbabwe dam - government

by Reuters
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 08:37 GMT

People watch as the spillway gates of another Zimbabwe dam - the Kariba North Bank dam on Lake Kariba - are opened to reduce rising water levels in February 2008. REUTERS/Mackson Wasamunu

Image Caption and Rights Information
"We have 20,000 people within the dam basin and another 40,000 who are downstream who are all at risk of flooding," says minister

HARARE, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Cash-strapped Zimbabwe asked for international aid on Wednesday to evacuate thousands of families threatened by a dam it feared could burst following torrential rains.

Authorities said they had only managed to move 36 families out of 2,230 in immediate danger, warning any break in the Tokwe-Mukorsi dam could flood tens of thousands of other people downstream.

Zimbabwe was asking for $20 million from foreign donors, Local Government and Public Works Minister Ignatius Chombo told Reuters.

"We have 20,000 people within the dam basin and another 40,000 who are downstream who are all at risk of flooding," he added.

Tokwe-Mukorsi is in the semi-arid southern Masvingo region but the area has received higher than normal rains this year.

The International Organisation for Migration, a relief agency, has pitched in with tents and blankets while Namibia is providing three helicopters for evacuating the villagers.

The flood situation would be discussed at a cabinet meeting in Harare on Wednesday, Chombo said. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Andrew Heavens)

Latest News
Comments Close
Thousands at risk as rains strain Zimbabwe dam - government

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus