Chotto residents homeless after heavy downpour
Early rains that came with strong winds last Sunday blew roofs off houses in the Chotto informal settlement, leaving many families destitute.
Although the rains were welcomed by many it destroyed numerous properties, including a shelter for disabled and homeless children in Katima Mulilo.
Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu told New Era strong winds started blowing at around 17h00 on Sunday, followed by heavy rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning.
However, the affected residents have not yet been relocated, as was done in 2014 when the rains left more than 40 families destitute in the same location.
The governor also confirmed that the wind blew some roofs off houses in Chotto informal settlement.
He said the Mainstream Foundation, which looks after disabled and homeless children, was also affected.
“I went to do an assessment of the damage. The Foundation’s dining hall and their tent, where the children use to gather when eating, is damaged.
“I also went to Chotto on Monday and I found the affected people fixing their houses where the roofs were blown off. The damage is not so severe, but their food got ruined,” Sampofu said. He further noted that there were no injuries reported.
He said although the rain damaged properties and left many homeless, the region welcomed the showers with open arms, as the country has long been languishing from severe drought.
He also urged the local residents – especially those in informal housing – to ensure their homes are well-constructed and insulated.
“This is a warning to all of us. We might receive rain again [soon], so those who have roofs that are not strong enough and are leaking should fix them properly. They should get prepared,” he advised.
This is not the first time residents of Choto at Katima Mulilo are affected by heavy downpours, as more than 40 people were left homeless after the rains submerged their houses in 2014.
At the time four houses partially collapsed as a result of the rain-drenched ground and strong winds that accompanied the heavy rains in the Zambezi Region.
Katima Mulilo Town Council at the time had registered about 46 households for possible relocation. The town council also provided tents and transportation to the areas where households were relocated to.
A site close to the Zambezi Vocational Training Centre was then used to relocate destitute residents of the rain-drenched area to.