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Police warns public over crossing flooded rivers

EDWIN MOYO

SHURUGWI-The onset of the rain season has seen  a worrying trend of drownings and related accidents where humans try to cross flooded water bodies resulting in loss of lives.

Midlands Provincial Police Spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko has issued a warning to the members of the public to desist from allowing children to play near water bodies, crossing flooded water bodies and encouraging drivers to cross overflowing bridges.

“Every year and during the rainy season, many lives are lost through drowning. The rain season has an effect in the volume of water in rivers which poses temptations to children who end up swimming in flooded rivers. In this regard, we are experiencing an increase in deaths due to drowning since the onset of the 2023-2024 rain season.

“We as the police would like to take this opportunity to alert members of the public not to cross flooded rivers. Instead, people must wait for rivers to subside before they attempt to cross. In addition, we discourage swimming of flooded pools and rivers by children.

“Furthermore, parents and guardians are encouraged to guard against toddlers playing near or around water bodies like pools, wells, dams and rivers.

“Buckets and dishes filled with water must not be left unclosed. Motorists are also urged not to cross flooded bridges as they risk being swept away and end up losing their lives.” he added

Recently, a 38 year-old Shurugwi man was swept away as he attempt to cross to the other side of a flooded river. The incident occurred on 04 January 2024. 

Again, a 6 year-old Nembudziya boy drowned in a pool of water when he tried to follow his 16 year-old brother to the grazing lands.

According to the latest World Health Organisation data of 2021, drownings in Zimbabwe usually reached approximately 956 or 0.88% of total deaths annually, with some deaths reportedly going unrecorded in most remote areas.

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