Zimbabwe – Evacuations After Floods in Harare

Flooding forced around 30 families to evacuate their homes in near the Marimba River in Budiriro, a western suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe, on Friday 13 January, 2017.

Meanwhile Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe has warned of heavy rains across the country bringing an increased risk of flooding.

At least 30 families were forced from their homes after the Marimba River overflowed in Budiriro, near the capital Harare.

Local media are also reporting that 1 person is missing believed to have been washed away by the water after failing to cross the flooded Marimba River

Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and Harare City Council worked to evacuate and provide emergency shelter for at least 30 families displaced by the flooding.

The Marimba River burst its banks after several days of heavy rain. All 30 families are though to be from homes situated along the river. Local authorities have questioned whether the properties have been built illegally.

In a statement on 14 January, 2017 Harare City Council said:

“Harare City Council is investigating circumstances that led to the allocation of residential stands 50 metres from Marimba River in Budiriro 5 Extension next to Marange Shopping Complex following the flooding of several properties in the area due to heavy rains.

“The investigations will ascertain the authenticity of the layout plan and whether the affected stands are within the approved plan. The city would also want to urge people allocated residential land to only occupy it when they have been given occupation certificates.

“The stands were allocated to Common Vision a housing cooperative several years back.”

In August 2015, Harare City Council demolished 100 houses in Budiriro, claiming they had been constructed without permission.


Rainfall records for Zimbabwe are hard to come by and there are no precise figures for the affected area. The Harare Kustaga weather station situated south east of Harare recorded around 70 mm of rain between 11 and 14 January, 2017.

  • 14 January – 28.0 mm
  • 13 January – 6.0 mm
  • 12 January – 25.0 mm
  • 11 January – 15.0 mm

Heavier rain was recorded at Harare Kustaga earlier in January:

  • 07 January – 72.0 mm
  • 04 January – 55.0 mm

Elsewhere in the country, heavy rain has been reported in Chivhu (Mashonaland), Wyanga (Manicaland) and Kadoma (Mashonaland West) over the last few days:

14 January

  • Chivhu 55.0 mm
  • Wyanga 64.0 mm

13 January

  • Wyanga 51 mm

12 January

  • Kadoma 70.0 mm

Rain and Flood Warnings

Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSD) has issued warnings of heavy rain across the country, with the possibility of widespread flooding.

In their forecast issued 15 January, for the period to 17 January, MSD said:

“In general rains are expected countrywide and we are also forecasting the continuation of heavy rains (in excess of 50mm in 24 hours) in all provinces. Widespread flooding is therefore anticipated.”

Heavy rain caused deadly flooding in Zimbabwe in the last month. In mid December 2016 heavy rain increased river levels in parts of Masvingo province. Six people were swept away as they pushed a vehicle that was stuck in a flooded river in Chiredzi.

Around 100 families were evacuated from their homes in Hwange District in Matabeleland North Province after severe flooding struck in the early hours on 14 December, 2016.