via Flood victims facing fresh hunger emergency | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The Tokwe Mukosi flood victims urgently need food, after rains destroyed large quantities of maize earmarked for the displaced families.
The district administrator for the area, Stanley Chamisa, told State media that at least 200 tonnes of maize is needed after a hailstorm last week destroyed stocks.
Chamisa said only 4 tonnes of maize-meal remains to feed more than 3,000 families who are accommodated at Chingwizi transit camp, and this was not enough.
The stormy weather also blew away tents and roofing material on the temporary structures, leaving at least 10 people with injuries.
Admire Mashenjere from the Tokwe-Mukosi Rehabilitation and Resettlement Trust, told SW Radio Africa that although families were receiving food rations, this was not enough to last them the whole week.
“We do receive food but because of the high number of people, this is not enough and sometimes the food runs out before the end of the week,” he said.
Mashenjere also appealed for boreholes, saying the heavy rains had brought an added challenge of waterborne diseases.
He said several people at the transit camp were reporting stomach problems and he attributed this to drinking water from unclean sources.
“There is also a lot of overcrowding in the camp and this is worsening the situation,” Mashenjere added.
On Wednesday a group of human rights doctors also deplored the unsanitary conditions at Chingwizi, where health officials are said to be attending to at least 100 cases of dysentery each day.
A statement by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights called on the government to do more for the Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims.
“While appreciating efforts made to date by the government, humanitarian organisations and development partners to coordinate health responses to Tokwe-Mukosi victims, ZADHR contends that in light of the recent diarrhea scourge, there is need for enhanced interventions.
“Such interventions should seek to provide sustainable solutions to the villagers’ woes. Chief among such interventions is the prioritisation of resettling victims as a matter of urgency to a permanent location where such facilities as clinics and boreholes can be erected,” the doctors added.
On Wednesday online news source Newzimbabwe.com said the villagers were demanding to be resettled on more decent land in order to rebuild their livelihoods, accusing the country’s governing elite of sitting on vast tracts of prime land formerly owned by white farmers.
The article went on to say that the affected villagers are dismayed that the authorities were preparing to move them to tsetse-fly affected areas in Mwenezi when there was a lot of unused land, which influential ZANU PF politicians grabbed for themselves during government’s controversial land reform programme.