‘Chimanimani resembles an aftermath of a war’ 

Source: ‘Chimanimani resembles an aftermath of a war’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 21, 2019


VILLAGERS in Cyclone Idai-ravaged Chimanimani district continue to count their losses after it emerged that all the equipment at Mhandarume Mushowani Irrigation Scheme, their major source of livelihood, had been swept away by floods.

A Chakohwa villager in Chimanimani West said Mhandarume Irrigation Scheme was now history after it was swept away.

“All the water pipes are gone. We no longer have water supplies in Chakohwa. We are appealing to the government to assist as soon as possible because we will die because of poverty,” the villager, who requested anonymity said.

Local Government minister July Moyo told journalists in Mutare this week that government was still assessing the cost of reconstructing damaged infrastructure, which includes bridges and roads.

Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri also said damaged infrastructure resembles an aftermath of a full-scale war.

“There was a lot of destruction on the facilities. The situation resembles an aftermath of a full-scale war, whereby bridges have been (washed) away and the infrastructure has been destroyed to the extent we did not expect,” he said.

Another Chakohwa villager, Constance Makandeni, said she rescued 99-year-old headman, James Marigoni in Chimanimani West constituency after his house collapsed on him.

In an interview with NewsDay this week, Makandeni said headman Marigoni and his wife, also of advanced age, survived the tropical storm by a whisker after their house collapsed.

“It was on a Friday night (last week). I realised that the violent wind and rain was not normal and my asbestos sheets had been ripped off. When I went outside, I realised that my neighbour’s house had collapsed,” she said

“It was the house of our headman. He was trapped inside and I had to pull him out.”

Another villager in Mhandarume, Daiton Patsika is also counting his loses after his thriving beehives along Mvumvumvu River were also swept away. Patsika also said a lot of livestock was also swept away by the ravaging storm.

“The beehive business was our source of livelihood and I don’t know how we are going to survive,” he said.

“My friends and neighbours survived, but they lost their livestock, mainly cattle and goats. I saw many cattle and goats being swept away by floods.”