A violent rain storm that hit Bauleni township in Lusaka left one man dead while a 20 months old baby was seriously injured after a tree fell on top of their house.
And President Edgar Lungu yesterday visited the bereaved families and those left homeless by the devastation, calling on the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to be pro-active and ready to respond to such natural occurrences.
Police Spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda has named the deceased as Padley Banda aged 40 and that his body was currently lying in the University Teaching Hospital.
Ms. Chanda also said police received 941 complaints of roofs being blown off by the rainstorm and that the matter would soon be handed over to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit under the Office of the Vice President
And Lusaka Central PF Member of Parliament Guy Scott has disclosed that the death toll could rise to 15.
Dr. Scott attributed the disaster to unplanned structures and big trees in the area.
A check by Millennium Radio in Bauleni yesterday morning found scores of structures such as billboards grounded. In other areas iron sheets ripped off from houses were hanging on ZESCO transmission lines.
The heavy downpour that started around 15.30 hours and lasted for 40 minutes wreaked havoc in the densely populated township in the centre of Lusaka, leaving many people injured, among them children some who are admitted to Bauleni clinic.
Houses and other structures were torn apart, leaving many homeless and others without immediate shelter.
President Lungu, after visiting the compound yesterday morning, said Sunday afternoon’s disaster was a wake-up call on the need for authorities to start checking the quality of buildings in the country.
Speaking when he visited ZNBC Twin Palm staff houses and Bauleni compound, President Lungu said Government would take stock of what had happened and see what lessons can be learnt.
The President visited the bereaved family and witnessed first-hand the devastation wreaked by the storm.
President Lungu urged the DMMU to be proactive in responding to tragedies arising from natural occurrences.
He said what happened was an eye-opener for people to plan adequately before such events happened.
President Lungu said there was also need for people in the country to start insuring their houses.
Affected residents spoken to appealed to the power utility company to move in and address the situation.
Zesco spokesperson Henry Kapata confirmed that power in the area has been affected after 25 transformers and 45 poles including transmission lines were destroyed.