Zimbabwe seeks $100m in aid as floods kill 246, displace 1000s

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Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban with Herald Newspaper

The Zimbabwean government has launched an international humanitarian appeal to help combat floods that have affected all of the country’s provinces. The country is seeking in excess of $100m to ease the burden the floods have brought.

The state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Thursday that the floods which started in December last year has claimed some 246 lives, injured 128 people, marooned over 1500 and rendered close to 2000 others homeless.

The Herald also reported that President Robert Mugabe – currently in Singapore for ‘scheduled medical review’ had declared the floods a state of disaster seeing the extent of damage.

I am appealing to the development partners, private sector and general public inclusive of those in the diaspora to rally with the government to support relief programs.

The floods are said to have damaged 74 schools whiles 70 dams have been drenched. The effect has also hit five health institutions – at a time when junior doctors and nurses in the country have embarked on a strike over conditions of service.

The sector minister, Comrade Kasukuwere is quoted to have said, ‘‘I am appealing to the development partners, private sector and general public inclusive of those in the diaspora to rally with the government to support relief programs in line with the policy that requires that every citizen has a responsibility to avert and limit the effects of a disaster.’‘

The Minister said affected communities were in dire need of assistance to rebuild their homes, rehabilitate social institutions and to recover lost property and livelihoods.

Zimbabwe has been badly affected by an economic crisis occasioned by a failed currency. A biting drought has worsened the economic situation. The country has introduced bond notes equivalent to the United States dollars to cure the cash crunch.