Takunda Maodza Manicaland Bureau Chief
GOVERNMENT is appealing to development partners to continue helping victims of Cyclone Idai in Chipinge and Chimanimani districts, amid indications some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have been operating there since the disaster struck have exhausted their grants.
Victims of the cyclone are in panic mode after learning from some NGOs that they were winding up operations.
The NGOs were complementing Government following the disaster, but resource limitations have seen some either scaling down operations or winding up.
But Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who toured the Garikai Camp in Ngangu and other parts of Chimanimani last week on Friday, appealed to the development partners to consider extending their work as more still needs to be done for the victims.
“We have heard that some of our development partners’ grants have come to an end, but we are still appealing for their help,” said Minister Mutsvangwa, who is also the Senator for Chimanimani.
Hundreds of Cyclone Idai victims are still living in tents as Government is making frantic efforts to ensure that permanent homes are constructed for them in safer areas.
There are 242 people living at Arboretum Camp, 117 at Nyamatanda-Pondo and 359 at Garikai.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government was not happy that the victims were still living in tents.
“We are here at Garikai Camp,” she said. “This is where those who were affected heavily from Ngangu Village were settled. We are very grateful to the engagement and re-engagement efforts of our President because we know that when this happened in March, the President was in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and he had to rush back.
“But, before he came back he appealed for help and got some tents.
“We see how useful these have become as these families were all in the open. Obviously, the Government is not happy to keep them here, but a lot of work has been done to make them at least comfortable.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the victims deserved permanent homes before onset of the rainy season.
“There is running water and there are toilets, but all the same the Government is working flat out to make sure that we have got permanent homes and areas have actually been identified in Nedziwa and other areas,” she said.
“We hope this will happen as quickly as possible because we are also thinking if this could be done in time because we are not sure how much rain we are going to receive this year and obviously because of the experience they went through they are worried.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said before the cyclone hit the area, Ngangu villagers lived well and are not used to donations.
“This area has a lot of rain,” she said. “It is an area where they work hard in the fields on bananas and pine apples and we want to ensure that wherever they are going to be moved there is irrigation.
“It is not just about building them houses; it is also making sure that there is water there.
“Irrigation is of paramount importance because they can continue looking after their families.
“We do not want the donor syndrome. Our people are really resourceful.”