Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
Government will soon begin the allocation of housing stands at West End Farm in Bumba to more than 200 families who were displaced by Cyclone Idai, as part of efforts to speed up recovery efforts and finalise the relocation exercise.
Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo last week said every family due for relocation should be shown their stand before March 17, the second anniversary of the date most of them moved into the tents in different camps.
He said this would bring back hope and dignity to the people whose livelihoods were disrupted when the disaster struck on March 15, 2019.
Speaking at the launch of the distribution of materials for the transitional shelters for internally displaced persons by the International Organisation for Migration at Bumba Primary school, Minister Moyo said the allocation should be done with speed as it had already taken too long.
IOM is providing materials for 674 prefabricated structures to benefit all the people who were left homeless by the natural disaster.
“I have directed the District Development Coordinator and the Provincial Development Coordinator to make sure that everyone who is supposed to benefit from these stands has been shown their stand by March17. If anyone is ambitious and wants to move to their stand now, please allow them to do so because this is their home,” he said.
He said the initiative by IOM marks a key milestone in the recovery programme for the internally displaced people and was a symbol of the commitment by Government and its partners to help the victims find closure.
Government, through the Department of Public Works started construction of permanent houses at West End farm last year with an initial batch of 20 houses which are now at roofing stage. Construction of another 55 houses which are now at various stages also began in December after Treasury released $44 million.
The department will soon begin construction of 70 more houses using $86 million released last month. Minister Moyo moving people to permanent homes would mark the beginning of a new life for them.
“All the infrastructure repairs mean a lot but relocating them and giving them permanent homes or even transitional homes, marks the beginning of permanent rehabilitation of the people of Chimanimani and Chipinge. What is needed now is for all the aid agencies to come together and build a community that can sustain itself. We want to make sure that we are building better than where we were before,” he said.
He also said the schools in the area needed to be upgraded to accommodate the children who would move to Bumba.
IOM national officer for capacity building and advocacy Mr Gideon Madera, who was representing the chief of Mission Mr Mario Lito Malanca, commended Government for taking giant strides in assisting the recovery and reconstruction in communities affected by cyclone Idai.
He said the transitional shelter project was part of the agency’s initiative to address the shelter needs caused by the cyclone.
Chimanimani East legislator Cde Joshua Sacco said the collaboration between Government and IOM would bring relief to the affected communities.
“We are happy with this transitional shelter programme because it is restoring hope to the victims who had suffered for a long time. We are also happy that the expedition of the relocation process will bring development to this area as we will see more activities especially farming,” he added.