Bulawayo — INCLEMENT weather is putting immense pressure on cash-strapped Zimbabwe's response to humanitarian crisis as lethal floods affect the same areas that have experienced severe droughts over the past two years. The country is enduring the aftermath of the deadly Cyclone Dineo, which has left more than 250 people dead, displaced 2 000 others and disrupted livelihoods and infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools. Water sources have sustained heavy damages, with southern parts of Zimbabwe the most impacted. Districts that have been mostly affected by the floods are: Chiredzi, Kanyemba, Lupane, Mwenezi, Mberengwa, Insiza, and Tsholotsho.
Full damage assessments are yet to be carried as most of the areas remain inaccessible due to flooding. "Sadly the districts that are affected by the flooding are the same areas that have been hard hit by the drought in the past two years," said United Nations Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli. He said existing humanitarian coordination and response structures were buckling under pressure as they had been established solely to battle the drought. Huge gaps remain and lifesaving relief assistance such as tents, blankets, and water, sanitation and hygiene supply is urgently required as the humanitarian community work together to prepare a comprehensive response plan. The UN Resident Coordinator called on the humanitarian and development partners to adjust their support by aligning and scaling-up their support to the flood affected communities. Last week the government of President Robert Mugabe declared a national disaster and issued an appeal to non-governmental agencies to intervene.