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Zimbabwe evacuates people at risk, as powerful storm edges closer

On Monday, The meteorological services department (MSD) said the incoming storm could be as powerful as Cyclone Dineo which hit in 2007.

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The civil protection unit (CPU) in Zimbabwe has commenced the evacuation of people in the eastern parts of the country who are most vulnerable to tropical storm Chalene, which is expected to make landfall on Wednesday.

The storm has reached the Mozambique Channel and according to the meteorological services, it was expected to intensify before making landfall in central Mozambique.

It is thereafter expected to sweep into Zimbabwe later in the day, and is most likely to affect most parts of the country if it continues with its detected intensity.

A small farming town called Chimanimani which is in the surrounding areas bordering Mozambique, is still reeling from the effects of the devastating Cyclone Kenneth and Cyclone Idai from last year and Cyclone Dineo in 2017, has started evacuations.

Fears have begun to mount even before the storm arrives, as some areas such as Chibuwe village are already experiencing floods due to heavy downpour.

“We are being relocated from our tents, where we have been staying since Cyclone Idai last year, to safer centres,” said Witness Gambire, 35, from Nyamusundu.

Chimanimani member of parliament Joshua Sacco said clinics had been provided with medicine from the ministry of health and there were teams on sground to rescue people if they were stranded on the roads. He however advised that people should avoid travelling to areas where it was expexted that the storm will hit hard.

In the danger zones, schools and churches have been offered as shelter to those evacuated. The government said it has availed $30m (R439.8m) for disaster response.

Mutare which is the fourth-largest city in the country was also been put on high alert. 

A statement from the municipality read “People in low-lying areas of Mutare such as Zimta and Bernwin and those living in temporary accommodation such as Federation and Kimboki are being advised to find alternative accommodation before disaster strikes”.

On Monday, the meteorological services department (MSD) said the incoming storm could be as powerful as Cyclone Dineo which hit in 2007.

The destruction caused by Dineo was an estimated 20,000 homes in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, which led to the displacement of at least 130,000 people.

 As a result, there was widespread flooding in Zimbabwe’s Mutare, Chiredzi and Beitbridge, floods in Botswana and a cholera outbreak that hit both Mozambique and Malawi.

Malawi’s department of disaster management affairs gave the assurance that the country was prepared to respond to the storm.

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Oil Spill Reported at Chevron Nigeria’s Facility in Bayelsa

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An oil leak has reportedly been spotted from the Funiwa oilfield operated by Chevron Nigeria (CNL).

The leak was reported on Sunday by fishermen, operating on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean near Bayelsa State.

The fishermen, from Koluama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, raised the alarm in a chat with newsmen on Sunday in Yenagoa.

The fishermen, who operate on shallow waters near the ocean, said they noticed that crude was on the waters near the oil facility as helicopters were seen overflying the area.

Tombra Ebitimi, a fisherman from the coastal settlement, said that he observed the incident on Saturday night and subsequently reported the same to the community leadership.

He said that apart from helicopters sighted around the area possibly for assessment, meaningful response efforts had yet to begin.

“Some of us, who went on fishing, sailed into the oil-contaminated area near the Funiwa oilfield got our nets and fishing gear soaked with crude on Saturday.

But we noticed some helicopters hovering around the facility by today,’’ he said.

Ebitimi said it could be that community leaders have informed the company of the development, which made them deployed helicopters in the area.

He appealed to the company not to apply toxic chemicals from the sky to dissolve the crude oil, saying, “those chemicals are unfriendly to fishes and marine life generally’’.

He said that fishermen in the area had temporarily suspended fishing to avoid catching contaminated fishes that could jeopardise public health.

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Militia Kill 48, Injure 97 in Sudan

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No fewer than 48 people died in militia attacks on El-Geneina in West Dafur, Sudan.

A statement by Doctors Syndicate of West Darfur, on Sunday, said that 97 people were also injured, adding that the attacks began on Saturday.

The statement said that the medical personnel were making efforts to provide medical care to the wounded despite a shortage of supplies and nursing staff.

The Doctors Syndicate also appealed for armed transportation in order to transport medical personnel to government and private treatment institutions.

This recent attacks came weeks after UN peace-keepers began withdrawing from the region, where violence is increasing.

The Dafur Bar Association said the attacks were triggered when a member of the Masalit tribe stabbed a member of an Arab tribe.

“Armed militias took advantage of the incident and attacked El Geneina from all sides,” the association said, as well as the nearby Kreinding camp for internally displaced people, from where SUNA said there was now a wave of people moving towards the city.

The association accused the militias of looting and human rights abuses.

On Saturday, the governor of West Darfur declared a state of emergency, authorising the use of force in order to stabilise the situation and imposing a curfew.

While the military had begun to deploy, the bar association said the commander for the region had not responded to the state governor’s directives.

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Cameroon, Mali Earn Victories in CHAN Opener

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The host nation, Cameroon huffed and puffed before getting a beautiful lone goal against Zimbabwe in the opening match of the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

It took a Salomon Banga bicycle kick in the 72nd minute for the Cameroonians to break the deadlock against their stubborn opponents.

The hosts threw everything at a resolute Zimbabwean team, as they enjoyed 60% of possession and had 29 shots against Zimbabwe’s 2. However, the Zimbabweans appeared to be the more technically disciplined side with one of their two shots being on target while 5 of Cameroon’s 29 hit the target.

In another contest, Mali defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 courtesy of Djoliba AC defender, Siaka Bagayoko’s 70th minute winner.

The Malians have now tied on point with hosts Cameroon with a goal and 3 points apiece after one round of game.

Later on Sunday, Libya will face Niger while the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) will face the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa).

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