A number of villagers in the Nhlekisa area of Nkayi are counting their losses after a hailstorm destroyed homes and killed livestock last week.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The majority of the affected from Manomano area, said the hailstorm on Tuesday night left a trail of destruction, with one 86-year-old Mlamuli Nkiwane, saying he last witnessed such heavy rains in 1968.
At about 10 homesteads huts were razed to the ground while others were partly destroyed.
Gaping holes and cracks could be seen through huts that survived the hailstorm.
Nkiwane said he lost goats and chickens during the storm that left him terrified.
“I have never been so scared in my life. I last experienced such heavy and windy rains in this area in 1968 when I was growing up,” he told Southern Eye at his homestead.
“My children who are outside the country had just bought me a pick-up van and it was left damaged after the garage collapsed on it, and destroyed windows.
“My goats and chickens were swept away.”
Elina Moyo, a widow said she was sleeping with her grandchildren when structures at her homestead, including their bedroom, started collapsing.
“There were heavy winds, and in no time one corner side of the bedroom hut we were sleeping in gave in and collapsed,” Moyo said.
“We huddled together and went to the other room, and we realised that the whole kitchen had collapsed.”
Amuli Manda, another victim said his bedroom hut gave in after being pounded by the hailstom and remaining huts were in danger of collapsing if they were not repaired immediately.
“My wardrobe and other property in the bedroom was totally destroyed after the bedroom hut collapsed,” Manda said.
“Lucky enough, we had already sought shelter in the kitchen hut, otherwise we could be talking of a different story if it had collapsed on us.
“The rains were very violent and it was windy. They swept away my goats. My chickens and the remaining planted crops were swept away.”
Ward 28 councillor One Ncube said the hailstorms left villagers terrified, but said despite the destruction, “we are happy that lives were not lost”.
Nkayi South legislator, Abednico Bhebhe, on Monday donated groceries that included mealie meal to affected villagers.
“This is the little that we can to assist each other as a community in a time of need,” Bhebhe told the villagers.
“We hope that we would be able to get resources to help you rebuild huts that were destroyed during the rains.”
Most parts of the country received heavy rains two weeks ago after a prolonged dry spell.