Marooned mother and children still to be rescued

Flooded Mutirikwi River

An unidentified Chiredzi woman and her five children spent the whole night marooned on an island along Mutirikwi River amid reports that two of the children were swept away after water levels continued to rise.

This comes amid reports that another unidentified woman and her child were also swept away near the same point along the same river between Thursday morning and today. The local Civil Protection Unit is still combing for exact details.

The first woman and her children aged between 15 and 3 years were marooned around 9am after a weir upstream suddenly spilled trapping them.

Efforts to rescue them proved futile on the first day forcing them to spend the while night on the island as water levels continued to soar.

The Chiredzi CPU led by District Development Coordinator Mr Lovemore Chisema were forced to resort to use of “local” means to rescue the woman and her children after promises that a helicopter would be deployed to help them came to naught.

Local swimmers who managed to reach the show reportedly discovered that two of the woman’s children had been swept away when they got to the island.

Mr Chisema could neither deny nor confirm that four people among them three children and a woman have been swept away.

“We can talk later. Right now we are busy with the local rescue initiative. Things are not well,” he said before hanging up.

In video that has been circulating on social media, Chiredzi North House of Assembly representative Cde Roy Bhila appealed for assistance to rescue the woman and her children.

In the video posted around 10 am (Friday) today, Cde Bhila said the marooned people had less than two hours to be rescued before flood waters reach and sweep them away.

When The Herald contacted him from the scene of the rescue mission, Cde Bhila could not disclose more details.

“I am busy with other villagers trying to rescue the marooned people. We are using local means and our wait for a helicopter has been in vain,” he said.

Sources said the first woman and her children were trying to cross Mutirikwi River when a weir upstream suddenly spilled and trapped them.

The other woman who was reportedly swept away had not been reported and her fate was only known after local rescuers spoke to the first woman when they reached an island where she is stuck.

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