Red Cross relief for cyclone victims in Chirumanzu

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TAWANDA MARWIZI

Emilda Makone (30) walked helplessly towards her homestead that has two round houses in Chinu village in Chirumanzu district.

She was trying to come to terms with the medical results from Gweru General Hospital revealing that she has cervical cancer.

But then as soon as she arrived home, on March 14, heavy rains started and all her homestead structures were destroyed though there were no fatalities recorded.

At least 128 houses were destroyed in that village leaving several people stranded and homeless. And now, Makone and her fellow villagers are desperately waiting for assistance.

“Things are not okay here because we are yet to get any assistance. Of course our local councilor and ZANU PF committee came here to assess the situation but to date no aid has been availed to us,” said Makone.

Some have been forced to squat in very small rooms with their children, some have been sleeping outside citing some serious cultural beliefs that bar them from sleeping with their children in the same room.

The victims feel abandoned as they have only heard of the donations made to other affected areas.

“Chirumanzu area was affected but we have not yet received any donations. Yes our councilors came here but they were just assessing the impact of the damage, telling us to write our names down,” Leonard Magaraira said.

Ward 2 councilor Marko Masocha said they had told people that the government was working to give them relief material and food.

“The situation here has not been okay because the affected villagers are finding it hard to survive. We are just looking forward to some donations here so that people can be assisted,” he said.

On Monday, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) distributed food staffs, sanitary wear, blankets and tapelines to the affected societies.

Receiving the donation, Patricia Mpofu who was standing in for the District Administrator said the situation was bad as several houses were destroyed.

ZRCS secretary general Mawell Phiri said though there were no deaths recorded in
the district, their impact assessment proved that people were heavily affected and there was need for them to provide assistance.