Farayi Machamire 3 March 2017
HARARE – Zimbabwe said yesterday it was appealing for international
assistance to help provide food, temporary shelter and clothing for more
than 1 500 people affected by widespread flooding following weeks of heavy
Scores of people have died in the floods – declared a national disaster –
with 128 people injured, while at least 1 576 people are still marooned,
according to Local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Zimbabwe’s call for international aid comes in the wake of a devastating
cyclone, dubbed Dineo.
While the government, which was re-elected in 2013 and faces elections
next year, is leading the relief effort, the Zanu PF political commissar
is handling operations on the ground.
“It is apparent that extraordinary response measures to alleviate
suffering of citizens of this country have to be intensified. I am
therefore appealing to the development partners, private sector and
general public, inclusive of those in the Diaspora, to rally with
government to support the emergency relief programmes,” Kasukuwere told
aid agencies yesterday.
He said international assistance was also needed to relocate people and
rebuild communities after the flood waters retreat.
Kasukuwere said scores of schools had been destroyed and the number of
dams breached countrywide stood at 140, while 74 schools had been damaged,
2 579 homes damaged and 1 985 people had been declared homeless.
Water minister Oppah Muchinguri said the breached dams had left 100 000
people with no access to clean water.
Kasukuwere said the most affected districts are Mberengwa, Insiza and
Lupane, adding the affected populations were in dire need of assistance to
rebuild their homes and recover lost property.
“There is an inadequate supply of tents for the displaced people. There is
an urgent need for blankets and clothing for the affected families as they
are at risk of contracting pneumonia,” Kasukuwere said.
In Chitungwiza, more than 2 500 houses are at risk of collapsing while
about 500 are at risk of collapsing in Mabvuku.
Kasukuwere said five health institutions had been damaged, with large
populations facing a shortage of drugs due to increased demand, especially
He said raging floods had claimed three major bridges while roads in many
parts of the country are now totally impassable.
UNDP resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli pledged the UN’s support to
assist affected communities and reach out to people who have lost their