Don’t cross flooded Runde River: Chiredzi CPU

COMMUNITIES in southern Chiredzi have been warned against crossing the flooded Runde River via the low-level Chilonga bridge as they risk being swept away by the river’s surging waters following heavy rains in the catchment.

Chiredzi Civil Protection Committee has also alerted communities settled along the perennially-flowing river to temporarily shelve activities like fishing to avoid the river’s floods as water levels continue to rise.

Last year, 14 people drowned in Runde River after being swept away while trying to cross via the Chilonga low-level bridge that joins Chiredzi Town and rural Chikombedzi in the south.

The warning by Chiredzi CPU comes in the wake of heavy rains that have been falling in Runde’s vast catchment area that stretches to Zvishavane and Gweru in the Midlands province where the river’s source is.

Chiredzi CPU chair and district development coordinator, Mr Lovemore Chisema says they have been carrying awareness campaigns to urge communities to stop all activities along the flooded river.

He further says while Chiredzi has to date received scanty rainfall and remained largely dry, heavy rains upstream have caused floods in Runde River.

“We have been carrying out awareness campaigns advising communities to stop all activities along the river because its flood waters will continue to surge because of heavy rains in the catchment area,” said Mr Chisema.

“We engaged the communities and our teams comprised the police and traditional leaders because we do not want to continue losing lives because of this river.”

Mr Chisema added that Chilonga bridge was now submerged by floods in the river and strongly warned motorists against trying to cross via the place.

“We have not yet taken any physical action to stop vehicles from trying to cross using Chilonga bridge but it is now completely covered by flood waters and we hope the motorists will not take a gamble with people’s lives.”

Last year, during the rainy season, Chiredzi CPU had to barricade the road leading to the low-level bridge to block stubborn motorists from risking their way across.

Source: The Herald

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