Seven schools, 100 homesteads and a clinic have been destroyed by heavy storms here since the start of the rainy season as the effects of climate change take effect.

Besides destruction of infrastructure, weather patterns have started changing and this is affecting the 2018-19 cropping season.

In some cases, crops have started wilting due to moisture stress, while others are failing to germinate.

Villagers in most remote parts of the district have also started raising the red flag over the depletion of the water table, affecting boreholes and natural water points.

In general terms, climate change is a long-term shift in the climate of a specific location, region or planet which occurs when the climate of a specific area or planet is altered between two different periods of time.

The shift is measured by changes in features associated with average weather conditions, such as temperature, wind and rainfall patterns.

Apart from natural causes, humans also cause climate change by releasing greenhouse gases and aerosols into the atmosphere, by changing land surfaces, and by depleting the stratospheric ozone layer.

Climate Change Management Department’s scientist responsible for publicity and communications Mr Tatenda Mutasa yesterday said the ongoing disasters were a result of extreme weather changes.

“These are the impacts of climate change evidenced by increase in extreme weather events,” said Mr Mutasa.

“We have not seen this before, when it rains the storms will be severe and when it does not rain, there will be droughts, and the winds are very strong nowadays than before. It is advised to build strong houses in accordance with recommended building standards.”

Chairperson of the District Civil Protection Unit Mrs Kiliboni Ndou Mbedzi, who is also the District Administrator, said that they we assessing the damaged infrastructure and mobilising resources to assist some of the victims.

“So far seven schools’ classroom blocks had their roofs blown off since the start of the rainy season,” Mrs Ndou Mbedzi.

“We also have one clinic and more than 100 homesteads which were affected by the hailstorms on separate occasions.

“Crops and livestock, roads, electricity infrastructure and also irrigation schemes were also not spared.

“We have managed to distribute buckets and a bar of soap to the victims of these disasters. In some cases the communities are mobilising materials to roof their schools.

“For example those at Mtetengwe primary have already secured roofing material for their classroom blocks.

“Further World Vision has also secured material for other affected schools.”

Mrs Ndou Mbedzi said they were rolling out awareness campaigns through village assemblies and ward-based disaster management committees to minimise the effects of the  disasters.

She said people should report any incidents as and when they happen to enhance responses from the CPU and other stakeholders.herald