MORE than 100 families living near Manningdale Dam in Riverside were temporarily evacuated yesterday to higher ground after the dam started spilling due to incessant rains.
Bulawayo City Council chief fire officer Richard Peterson told Southern Eye that they received an alert at 5 am yesterday that the dam started spilling and destroying property downstream.
“We received an alert at around 5 am from the owners of the dam that water was flowing over the dam wall and destroying crops and security walls at Riverside,” he said.
“It was severe in the morning because water was flowing over the dam wall and we had to work hard to stop it by digging a trench alongside.
“Now we want to open the floodgates and we believe by the end of the day it will be rectified. We are happy that we have averted the disaster. We sent our guys to evacuate everyone staying near the stream, from Riverside to Umguza, because we wanted to open the floodgates.”
Peterson said the water from the dam had destroyed some crops and security walls but no one was injured.
The owner of the dam, Vaughn Jan Rensburg and his wife Janine blamed the owner of a dam near theirs for failing to alert them after his dam started spilling.
“This is the first time this dam has been so full and it is because of the dam next to us which gave in to water pressure and spilled over thereby affecting ours,” Janine said.
“Now we are counting losses because of him.”
The heavy rains that began last month have destroyed some houses in Bulawayo’s Pumula suburb. A number of houses have also been flooded in a number of suburbs and electricity faults have also escalated.
More rains and flash floods have been predicted throughout the country.