22 March 2019

Zimbabwe: Cyclone Idai Victims in Masvingo Province Feel Neglected By the Government and NGOs

Photo: Josh Estey/CARE
Praia Nova Village was one of the most affected neighborhoods in Beira.

Masvingo Centre for Research and Community Development (MACRAD) conducted a survey on the responsiveness of the government to the victims of cyclone Idai in Masvingo Province. The survey indicates that, it seems as the whole world is pouring resources to Chipinge and Chimanimani only, whereas people in other parts of Masvingo Province like Bikita, Zaka and Gutu are equally in need of help. Inaccessible areas like the end part of Bikita the victims had not yet receive anything from the government and non-governmental organizations. The survivors in these areas are still getting help from their neighbors who are assisting them with accommodation, food and clothes. The province is failing to help its citizens in this time of need, much blame is credited to the government which is mainly focuses on Manicaland Province were more destruction happened and left out other parts of the country where cyclone Idai hits.

Four people were killed, several injured and more than 550 others left homeless in Bikita after Cyclone Idai spread to Masvingo province at the weekend, district development coordinator Bernard Hadzirambwi told journalists on Tuesday after a meeting with Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira. Parts of Masvingo province, including Bikita, Zaka, Gutu and Masvingo district, were in the path of the destructive storm that was accompanied by heavy rains and strong winds that demolished houses, bridges, roads as well as power and communication lines. Tuesday figures show that at least 2 106 houses collapsed.

A survivor of the storm, in Chivasa village under Chief Marozva, whose hut collapsed during the storm, said she had a traumatic experience; hence there is need for psychological counseling to be taken as the experience was traumatic. A lot is still needed in the province as injured victims are not getting medication in the local clinics and there is need for more doctors and enough medication to be deployed in these areas. The survivors were also worried about the emergence line (112) which they mention that no one picks their calls and very few people indicate that the phone will be picked after numerous trials.

Source: Masvingo Centre for Research and Community Development (MACRAD)

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