THE number of people who were affected by flash floods which hit Beitbridge town last Friday night has risen from 583 to 777, chairperson of the local civil protection unit Mrs Kiliboni Ndou said on Monday.
She said the victims were from 76 houses near Dulibadzimu Bus Terminus which houses 225 households.
Mrs Ndou said they were still mobilising food, blankets and clothes for the victims.
She said among those affected were 492 adults and 285 children.
“We have received an assortment of food items, clothes, text books, blankets and 660kg of rice from the Minister of State for National Security Cde Kembo Mohadi, Beitbridge West constituency legislator Mrs Metrine Mudau, Lobel’s, churches, clearing companies and non-governmental organisations.
“We have also identified four areas where we would house them, should the rains persist as a stop-gap measure to avoid a repeat of last Friday.
“We have teams on stand-by waiting to evacuate them to safe places,” she said.
Mrs Ndou said the National Civil Protection Unit would dispatch three engineers to augment the efforts being made by the town council in addressing drainage issues.
She said tents have been pitched at Dulibadzimu Clinic as alternative shelter.
She added that they were also monitoring the situation across the district though no other areas had been affected besides the urban area.
Town secretary Mr Loud Ramakgapola said they had availed $73 000 to address issues of drainage in the worst affected areas.
“We are attending to the drainage system. So far, we have availed $73 000 for drainage while a further $40 000 has been set aside for the construction works along the Wamulala River, which also passes through the area between the stadium and the district hospital,” he said.
Mr Ramakgapola said besides damaging houses, the rains also left a trail of destruction along the roads, sewer reticulation systems, stadium and other social amenities.
He said the local authority will also supply the affected residents with food until next Friday since most of them had their food stocks swept away by floods or were submerged in water.
The town received around 107mm of rainfall on Friday, the highest ever per day in the last seven years. Weather projections say a similar storm will be witnessed in the town between Friday and Sunday night.
Most of the flood victims had to sleep on rooftops after the floods reached waist level.
Vagrants and beggars who stay along a stream in Dulibadzimu suburb were also not spared by the floods.