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River Flooding Infrastructural Disasters

Damaged Bridges in Lower Zambezi Valley cut access across Lower Zambezi Valley’s protected areas.

Experiencing the edge of Cyclone ANA from Madagascar, heavy rain lashed the country week 25 January onwards and massively swollen rivers reached the foothills of the Zambezi Escarpment on the 27th-29th January at huge speed, with raging waters rushing towards the Zambezi River, breaking main access road bridges along their path.  Rangers based at remote field stations became trapped and efforts were immediately mobilised to provide drinking water, evacuate families where needed, and to ensure that Rangers were safe.

Tashinga Initiative was able to place 2,600L of drinking water in 200L drums readily accessible to Rangers on the eastern side of the first broken bridge.  Thereafter Tashinga Initiative, in collaboration with ZimParks and the national Roads Dept, with support from a local safari operator, Kavinga Safaris, using a tractor and dam scoop, opened up new tracks through the bush, making river bed crossings achievable once the river water flow had subsided. These crossings bring temporary relief only, until such time as the bridges are repaired by the Government or through bi-lateral aid.

Other interventions were to collaborate with a local boat transport company Mana Pools Safari Company for the delivery of ration foodhampers from Chirundu on the Zambezi River all the way downstream to Sapi and to Chewore North, to Ranger outposts based on the river.

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