Floods-induced damage runs into millions of dollars

By | March 12, 2017

Source: Floods-induced damage runs into millions of dollars | The Herald March 11, 2017

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Preliminary investigations into the value of infrastructure and amenities destroyed by recent floods and incessant rains have revealed that the destruction runs into hundreds of millions of dollars.

The rains destroyed infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water systems, schools and amenities in some parts of the country.

As a result, President Mugabe declared a state of national disaster last week.

This saw development partners and some non-governmental organisations pledging to complement Government in alleviating the situation in some of the affected communities.

The United Nations in Zimbabwe said it had started assisting some of the affected communities together with some non-governmental organisations.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who chairs the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management that also comprises development partners, said a consolidated situational report would clearly spell out the harm caused by the rains.

“We are working on a consolidated appeal process document with all the details of what was destroyed,” Minister Kasukuwere told The Herald yesterday.

“It will cover all the aspects such as health, roads, communication and dams. It is actually massive. This thing runs into hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Minister Kasukuwere said Government, friendly countries and some development partners were coming on board with various resources to address the challenges.

He said it was gratifying that development partners heeded Government’s call by pledging to assist.

“I am going into a meeting with the Chinese ambassador (Mr Huang Ping) as I speak to you,” he said.

“China wants to come in a big way. We will be receiving some help from Japan next week at the airport.

“The world has come around to assist Zimbabwe.

“Government is also doing its part through the Ministry of Finance, which has set aside some money for that. That money is now being used to attend to the roads and other things.”

United Nations resident coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli and other development partners have said they have started assisting the affected communities.

In emailed responses to The Herald, Mr Parajuli said all the agencies under the UN had rolled out the existing coordination and response structures that were established to address the El Nino-induced drought of the last farming season.

“Existing sectoral mechanisms are taking stock of and coordinating on-going response to the flooding crisis and identifying gaps in their respective sectoral plans to effectively address the plight of the flood-affected communities by complementing ongoing Government efforts,” he said.

“Under the concept of ‘build back better’, the humanitarian partners are working on a multi-sectoral response based on a comprehensive multi-sectoral needs assessment, covering the following sectors: shelter; water, sanitation and hygiene; education; health; food security and agriculture; protection; and, early recovery, which is taking place in a number of the affected districts.”

Mr Parajuli said he had already called on the humanitarian and development partners to align and scale-up their support to the flood-affected communities.

“UN agencies such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organisation (WHO) have been on the ground since the onset of the flooding crisis providing food, medicine and non-food items such water and sanitation, educational materials and shelter to internally displaced people,” he said.

“Similarly, NGOs such as World Vision; Oxfam; Save the Children; Welthungehilfe; Plan International; and the Red Cross Movement have been providing non-food relief support.

“Development and humanitarian partners, which include Department for International Development (DFID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and European Union (EU) have expressed their readiness to re-align their ongoing support in support of the flood-affected communities.”

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