Zimbabwe: Elderly Couple Marooned By Rains While Panning for Gold

AN elderly couple was Sunday marooned by heavy rains along Gweru River while panning for gold.

This follows heavy rains that have been pounding the country forcing floods in some areas.

Councillor Willard Moyo in whose area of jurisdiction Gweru River passes through, said they received reports of distress the elderly couple had been left stranded after being marooned by the heavy rains.

“There is an old man and his wife who have been marooned by heavy rains along Gweru River. They have been left stranded at an island after they had gone for gold panning,” Moyo said.

He said hunger has forced hard-pressed locals to take up highly dangerous occupations in order to survive.

“These are some vulnerable members of our society who are forced into gold panning for survival.

“It’s sad that they are now forced to face the vagaries of nature whilst panning for gold. It’s really saddening that people of that age, our senior citizens are left in that state of desperation,” he said without disclosing the exact ages of the stranded couple.

Recently, thunderstorms ripped apart Donsa Primary School in Silobela.

Moyo confirmed the development.

“Heavy rains accompanied with storms which have been pounding our province have left Donsa Primary school with roofs blown off. As the ward councillor for the area in particular and a former student of this school in general, I’m shocked about this incident.

“The natural disaster can’t be blamed on anyone; it’s from God. I am thankful that at least no lives have been lost in this incident.

“I am looking forward to the government and Zibagwe RDC to quickly chip in and assist the school with some roofing material,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kwekwe District Civil Protection Unit has since issued some warning to locals following the dangers posed by rains.

“School buildings and ordinary houses will be at risk. The CPU encourages school authorities to maintain the buildings and inspect the same regularly. In some areas of the Midlands province, school roofs have been blown away,” the CPU said in a statement.

The CPU also warned of impending mining disasters.

“Kwekwe is a mining town and experience has taught us that most mines collapse during this time of the year when it’s raining. Miners are therefore, urged not to go underground when it’s raining.

“Before going underground, kindly check the strength of the pillars and the underground drainage system.”

Added the CPU, “The season is anticipated to be a normal to above normal season. Inevitably, rivers and dams will be flooded.

“School authorities are urged to advise pupils not to attempt to cross flooded rivers. Pupils should also avoid swimming in such rivers and dams. Many young innocent souls have in the past been lost due to drowning and crocodile attacks.”

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