8 March 2017

Zimbabwe: UN in Urgent Call for Aid to Flood Victims

Photo: The Herald
(File photo).

FOLLOWING heavy floods which have killed 251 people and displaced over 2000 countrywide, the United Nations has called on the humanitarian and development partners to scale up their support to the affected communities.

According to UN, livelihoods have been disrupted while the infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools and water sources have sustained heavy damages, mainly across the southern parts of the country.

"Huge gaps remain and lifesaving relief assistance such as tents, blankets, and water, sanitation and hygiene," a statement from the UN said.

"Supply is urgently required as the humanitarian community work together to prepare a comprehensive response plan."

Districts that have been mostly affected by the floods are Chiredzi, Kanyemba, Lupane, Mwenezi, Mberengwa, Insiza and Tsholotsho.

The UN also said a full damage assessment was yet to be carried out as most of the areas remain inaccessible due to flooding.

The government, last week, declared the floods a national disaster and set up a Cabinet Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management chaired by Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli who visited some of the affected areas, said the districts that are affected by the flooding are the same areas that had been hard hit by the drought in the past two years.

"Stakeholders must align existing... . mechanisms to take stock of and coordinate on-going responses to the flooding crisis, and also further identify gaps in their respective sectors."

Parajul added that all the relief efforts to the flooding crisis should ensure gender mainstreaming and adhere to humanitarian principles and establish clear linkages to on-going recovery, resilience building and long-term development programmes.

The floods destroyed bridges and people's homes countrywide.

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