In making the appeal, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, who is acting President, said the impacts of the heavy and incessant rains were worsened by Cyclone Dineo, which was later downgraded to a tropical storm.
“As evident from the foregoing, the most affected sectors are human settlements, water and sanitation, education, health and infrastructure in particular, the road network and dams,” Mphoko said Monday.
“Based on these needy sectors, the Government of Zimbabwe requires a total of $188 705 294 for providing humanitarian assistance in the short to medium term also taking account sustainable measures which will assist in early recovery of affected communities with regards to relocation and for the establishment of related social amenities as applicable, and restoration of livelihoods in general.”
Mphoko said they were still making assessments “to determine further requirements”, with the most affected being Tsholotsho district, where 859 families were left homeless and are currently in a transit camp, while an additional 100 households are still at risk.
“The situation resulted in the loss of a cumulative 246 human lives due to lightning strikes, drowning and landslides and more than a 100 people injured. More than 1 985 people were left homeless and approximately 2 579 homesteads were damaged in varying degrees.
Extensive damage was also caused to infrastructure namely roads, bridges, schools, health institutions and dams,” he said. Mphoko added they required $101.1 million for roads infrastructure, $8.7mln for schools and $4.4mln for relocation and housing. The government also said they needed $5mln for potable water supply, $67mln for dams and boreholes, $1.2mln for flood monitoring equipment as well as $1.34mln for health.
Finance and economic development minister Patrick Chinamasa said government would not only sit and beg, but would provide $35mln towards the cause. Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Huang Ping, said his country, through the Chinese Red Cross, had so far managed to raise $60 000 meant to assist the flood victims, adding “we will do all we can to assist”.
Namibian embassy political and economics second secretary Saima Ndakulilwa Sakaria said they had mobilised fish for the victims, while Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Yoshinobu Hiraishi, said tents and plastic roll sheets were arriving in the country Monday. On March 2, President Robert Mugabe declared a state of flood disaster following the heavy rains.
The appeal comes at a time most Zimbabweans are accusing their leader of globetrotting while at the same time he is “ignoring” the challenges they were facing.
Since January, Mugabe – who turned 93 on February 24 – has made two trips to Singapore, then single ones to Morocco, Ghana, Mauritius, Dubai, Ethiopia, among several others. At present, Mugabe is in Mauritius for the economic summit.
In the past 19 days he has made four trips to Singapore, Ghana, Swaziland and Mauritius.