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Chitungwiza blast victims exposed to the elements

VICTIMS of the Chitungwiza blast are still living in makeshift tents three months after the incident with promises of alternative accommodation from different organisations yet to be fulfilled.

REPORT BY HAZVINEI MWANAKA

Six people died while several families were left homeless when more than 12 houses were destroyed in the blast which originated at the home of a traditional healer, Speakmore Mandere.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has been providing tents to survivors of the blast which police said was caused by explosives.

A recent visit by Standardcommunity revealed that survivors were exposed to the vagaries of the weather.

“The moment it rains we are left exposed. Water ends up flowing into our makeshift tents damaging our utensils,” said Fungai Kanyama.

Godwell Zalengela, another victim, said only his television set had survived the recent rains which destroyed most of his goods in the tent.

Other survivors of the blast said they now feared an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera as all of them were using a single toilet.

“With the perennial water shortages in Chitungwiza, our lives are in danger,” said another survivor.

She said they had no money to buy firewood as they no longer had electricity which was cut off after by the blast.

“We do not have anything to help ourselves with. The major challenge is money to reconstruct our houses. We appeal to well-wishers to come to our rescue, especially now that winter is around the corner,” she said.

Zalengela said if they secured building materials, they would be able to reconstruct their houses.

Efforts to get a comment from Chitungwiza municipality were fruitless.

The Chitungwiza explosion made international news headlines as the mystery surrounding the blast remained unresolved for weeks.

There was speculation that the explosion was caused by supernatural powers associated with goblins and lightning-manufacturing.

However, police have concluded that the blast was caused by a landmine explosion.

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