A WINDSTORM, which hit Bulilima district last week, destroyed solar panels at a San community irrigation project funded by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa in Makhulela village in rural Plumtree.

By Richard Muponde

The panels were used to run a water pump to water vegetables tendered by the San people.

The windstorm, which hit Bulilima last Wednesday afternoon, left a trail of destruction in the area, including the solar panels sourced by Mnangagwa’s Angel of Hope Foundation.

A team led by District Development Fund officials went to the scene on Thursday to assess the damage and make repairs.

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Bulilima district coordinator (formerly district administrator) Nyasha Majonga yesterday confirmed the damage, but said the problem had since been rectified.

“Yes there was some blowing off of solar panels, but as I speak to you, the problem has been rectified and it is business as usual,” Majonga said.

Witnesses said the winds were so strong that people feared venturing into the open.

“The winds could carry people off the ground because they were very strong to the extent that it was difficult to walk in the open. People had to remain indoors for fear of being blown away or being injured. Some homesteads had their thatch roofs blown off,” said one villager.

The First Lady officially commissioned the project in July this year amid pomp and fanfare.

Makhulela village is about 100km from Plumtree town and a few kilometres from Mabhongwane Game Park, close to the Botswana border. The area is a sanctuary where the San stayed before they were removed by the government of former President Robert Mugabe in the mid 1990s.