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Herald Reporters

A headman drowned in Mbire, while at least 13 learners at Chitenje Secondary School in Karoi were yesterday struck and injured by lightning as heavy rains wreak havoc in different parts of the country.Houses, livestock and property were destroyed in Chinhoyi.

This followed the death of one person in Binga on Tuesday and the extensive damage to infrastructure in the area and in Chimanimani, where 181 homes were destroyed, while two bridges were swept away.The Department of Civil Protection Unit said it was on high alert and will continue to work with relevant authorities, including the police, Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ), education officials, relief agencies and traditional leaders to see how they can reduce the damage caused by floods and heavy rains.

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has forecasted scattered afternoon and evening thundershowers to continue today in all Mashonaland, Harare, Midlands and northern parts of Manicaland provinces, while the rest of the country is expected to start experiencing a decline in rainfall activity starting today.

In Masvingo, hundreds of schoolchildren across the province’s seven administrative districts have over the past few days failed to attend lessons after failing to cross flooded rivers.

While provincial education director Mr Zedious Chitiga could not give exact figures of affected schoolchildren, he said the development was worrisome.

Mr Chitiga said they were still waiting for reports from districts indicating the extent of the problem.

“We have noted with concern that pupils are foregoing school as they fail to cross flooded rivers in most areas and it’s a sad scenario,” he said.

Some of the flooded rivers blocking schoolchildren from learning include Mutirikwi and Pokoteke in Masvingo District, Runde and Chiredzi rivers in Chiredzi and Devure and Mungezi rivers in Gutu.

Masvingo District Civil Protection Unit chairman, Mr Roy Hove said: “The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) is on high alert for tragedies likely to emanate from the heavy rains and river flooding.

Civil protection units in Mbire and Muzarabani have stocked non-food items and require assistance with foodstuffs.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority latest dam level update shows that the national dam level average has risen to 50,4 percent up from 49, 6 percent on February 6, 2020.