29 January 2013

Zimbabwe: CPU Contains Floods Situation in Beitbridge

The Civil Protection Unit has managed to contain the situation in Beitbridge were a number of villagers were left homeless when their homesteads were destroyed by heavy rains a fortnight ago. Beitbridge Civil Protection Unit chairman Mr Simon Muleya said they had roped in a number of partners who were helping them with food aid and other non food items.

He said they had also sent teams to assess the extent of damages caused by the floods across the district where they continued to have more reports of people who lost their homesteads. Mr Muleya said they had covered much ground in terms of assisting the affected families.

Nearly 200 people were left homeless in Chaswingo, Chituripasi and Tshikwalakwala in the eastern part of Beitbridge when their homes were destroyed by rains. He said they had also dispatched food hampers, over 1000 bar of soap, 990 fleece blankets, 1500 blankets, and 1000 buckets among other non food stuffs including kitchen wares and clothes to the affected areas.

"We have sent teams to assess the situation around the district so that we can promptly respond to the people's needs. "We are on top of the situation and happy with the assistant we are getting from both government and other players such as nongovernmental organisations" he said.

So far the Red Cross of Zimbabwe and the International Organisation for Migration has donated 130 large tents and 1000 tapeline tents to the CPU. These will be used to temporarily shelter the flood victims. Mr Muleya said Zinara had also pledged to finance the construction of the Tshikwalakwala and Mutshilashokwe bridges which were swept away by floods last week.

He said another nongovernmental organisation Help Germany had also pledged to assist with the construction of 11 two roomed houses and Blair toilets for those who lost their homes in Tshikwalakwala. He said several other humanitarian organisations were still assessing the situation on the ground with the view of sponsoring the construction of more houses and funding the relocation of some villagers who are located on the banks of major rivers.

The Chairman said they had also roped in the Department of social Services, Care International and the World Food Programme to assist with food aid for the affected villagers. He said apart from the roads and homes the heavy rains had extensively damaged most of the district's 17 irrigation schemes.

The floods also swept away over 800 donkeys and 600 goats. "We have a serious problem with most irrigation schemes which were a source of livelihood for the community and have been damaged. In some mcases the irrigation pumps were swept away while others are still submerged in water.

"At the moment we have courted the Beitbridge Rural District Council and other players in the agriculture sector to assist with reviving

these schemes as a matter of urgency" said Mr Muleya. He said they had also mobilised a number of vehicles including 7 tonnes trucks to transport food and other material to the community.

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