The government is considering relocating the flood victims from Mahlaba and Sipepa villages to new areas as a permanent solution to minimise the impact of floods on communities.
This was revealed by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde Saviour Kasukuwere after touring Sipepa Camp to assess the living condition of the flood victims.
Government ministers came face to face with the impact of floods in Tsholotsho when they visited Sipepa Camp, Friday (today) morning to assess the living conditions of the flood victims.
While the construction of a dam at the confluence of Gwayi and Khami rivers has been suggested to minimise flooding in Sipepa, stakeholders feel the relocation of the entire communities will be a permanent solution.
Cde Kasukuwere says land has been identified and his ministry will be working with sister ministries to expedite the process adding the government is ready to assist the victims in the construction of new homes.
“We are happy so far with the situation but we will need to put additional toilets and other facilities because there are many people here. We however feel the best solution is to move the communities permanently to areas on a higher ground so we will immediately begin working on the necessary procedures with the relevant departments to work this out,” said Cde Kasukuwere.
Chief Mathuphula whose area was the most affected by floods says while there is a need to minimise the impact of flooding on communities, there is also a need to present the issue to the affected villagers as there are several factors to consider.
“There are many reasons why people settled in Sipepa, for instance the soil is good for agriculture and even grazing pastures are good. So we will need to present the issue to them because we will be asked a lot of questions. They buried their fore fathers there and they do not know whether they will be assisted financially if they move to the new area,” he said.
Many of the victims lost their documents which include birth certificates, national identity cards and hospital records while some including those on ARVs lost their medication.
Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe has donated 10 000 tonnes of mealie meal and other groceries to assist the flood victims at the camp.