Sunday 30 April 2017

Floods in Zimbabwe have killed 246 since December

President Robert Mugabe declared the floods to be a national disaster this week (AP)
President Robert Mugabe declared the floods to be a national disaster this week (AP)

Floods in Zimbabwe have killed 246 people and left nearly 2,000 homeless since December, according to the government.

The southern African country has appealed to international donors for 100 million US dollars (£81.5 million) to help those affected by the floods, which have washed away some bridges and roads and cut off some communities from surrounding areas.

Saviour Kasukuwere, Zimbabwe's minister of local government, announced the death toll, adding that 128 people have been injured in the floods, which were caused by heavy rains.

President Robert Mugabe, currently in Singapore for a medical check-up, declared the floods to be a national disaster this week.

The floods have mainly affected southern Zimbabwe, where the air force has transported some marooned villagers to safety.

Dams have also overflowed, raising concerns about communities living downstream.

Five bridges on major roads have been swept away nationwide, transport minister Joram Gumbo said.

"Our roads have deteriorated to the extent that some sections of the national road network have become impassable," Zimbabwe's Daily News newspaper quoted Mr Gumbo as saying.

Zimbabwe's cash-strapped government is already struggling to meet routine commitments such as the payment of state workers' salaries.

Also, thousands of nurses in state hospitals in Zimbabwe went on strike this week over a lack of bonus payments, straining an already dire situation at the poorly resourced hospitals.

State hospital doctors have been on strike since February 15, forcing the government to send in army and police doctors to care for patients.

AP

Press Association

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