via NewsDay Editorial: Parirenyatwa spot on April 11, 2014
The latest hazard caused by the devastating storms and floods presents huge challenges for the 3 000 households at Chingwizi transit camp.
The Tokwe-Mukorsi flood victims are facing a host of problems, including shortage of water which is a principal problem. Besides, the state of educational facilities is horrendous. There are also fears of disease outbreak as the families are crowded. Donor fatigue could also soon set in.
The families are quickly losing hope of ever rebuilding their shattered lives; they will never forget the floods that shattered their lives which were serene and almost uneventful only a short while ago.
In the wake of the floods resulting from the near collapse of the under-construction Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam wall, they had hoped for a quick resettlement programme after which they would carry on with their lives.
Regrettably, the community is becoming more and more uncertain as little is being done to resettle them despite government pronouncements that the programme is on course.
Is there anything government can do to protect these families weakened by fate?
This is why it is heartening to note that Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa believes that the transit camp must be decongested as a matter of urgency to avoid an outbreak of diseases. However, it is not enough for Parirenyatwa to want other government arms to handle the matter when he is part of the problem.
It is unfortunate that some ministers have taken a back seat while the Tokwe-Mukorsi community suffers. It is clear that the transit camp is no longer suitable for human habitation.
According to Parirenyatwa, the conditions are not conducive to human settlement. These people must be quickly compensated for the relocation and settled in permanent homes as they are not supposed to stay under such conditions for long.
The minister said: “There are about 1 800 families; it is about 18 000 to 20 000 people staying in one camp and they are not working, not ploughing, they are just sitting, it is unhealthy. They should be decongested from a health point of view.”
Parirenyatwa’s observation is spot on, but more needs to be done as the flood victims do not have enough running water, toilets, food or shelter.
Politics of promises no longer work; all government arms must be seized with this issue even if the Health ministry is putting measures to ensure the health of the people.
Government must not give the idea of permanence because the people will think that they are there to stay.
Government must pay them off so that they can move on with their lives?