Hundreds of people have been displaced in Mumbwa district in central Zambia following the collapsing of a dam due to heavy rains experienced in recent days, state media reported on Sunday.
The Kandesha dam collapsed due to heavy rains and severe flooding resulting in damaged property and displacement of people while two people died.
Agricultural fields, as well as livestock, were not spared as the water swept away anything in its path.
Pictures posted on various social media platforms showed houses submerged in water while residents were seen on top of roofs.
Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Jonas Chanda, who inspected the damaged dam, said the government has put in place intervention measures in order to address the situation which has resulted in a critical shortage of water as the dams acted as reservoirs of drinking water for the residents, according to the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS).
Over 30,000 residents are at risk of contracting water-borne disease due to the water shortage, he added.
The ministry, he said, has already started the de-silting process which includes the removal of excess sand from the dams with dredgers and excavators in order to repair the gulley while repair of the dam walls will only commence when the rain subsides.
Vice-President Inonge Wina, who passed through the area on her way to the western part of Zambia where she has gone to inspect development projects, directed the ministry to urgently assess and rehabilitate all old dams across the country in order to prevent disasters.