Cyclone Idai: 500 Missing, 136 Still Marooned In Zimbabwe

813 views | Akanimo Sampson | March 25, 2019

In Zimbabwe, not less than 154 deaths have been reported and 187people registered as missing, following flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai’s trajectory.

A further 162people are reportedly injured and 136 are still marooned, according to government reports.

The death toll is expected to rise as areas previously cut-off become reachable and an additional 500 people are still missing in RusituValley in Chimanimani District, where rescue efforts have been hampered by damaged roads, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), a United Nations agency.

In Chimanimani and Chipinge districts, an estimated 250,000 people have been impacted, according to the preliminary findings of an inter-sector joint rapid needs assessment mission.

The mission reported further that an estimated 37per cent(121,000people) of the rural population in Chipinge district require urgent food assistance, while 77per cent(114,000people) are in need of food assistance in Chimanimani.

At least 35,000 households-with over 120,000 women and over 60,000 children-are in urgent need of protection interventions in the two assessed districts (Chimanimani and Chipinge).An estimated additional 100,000 children are in need of welfare and civil registration services in nine districts.

Infrastructure has sustained significant damage. Some 95per cent of the road networks in the affected areas have been damaged, according to government reports, with bridges reportedly damaged at Mhandarume, Matsororo, Mvumvumvu, Biriri, Muusha Primary School and Nyahode.

In addition, some 48 schools, 18 water points and 10 bridges have been damaged or destroyed, according to preliminary government reports. Manyera dam wall in Vumba has reportedly weakened and increased community awareness is required.

At least 200 poles have been washed away along the Chipinge to Chimanimani electricity line, leaving many people without power.

Search and rescue operations are continuing, with active operations still underway in Kopa and Rusitu areas of Chimanimani. Efforts are being made to recover bodies that were trapped under mudslides and rubble.

However, progress has been slow due to the difficult weather conditions. Command centres have been established at Mhandarume centre for people rescued in Chimanimani and at Christine school for people affected by flooding and landslides in Rusitu area.

Relief trucks carrying shelter, non-food items and WASH supplies have arrivedin affected areasand distributions are underway. Materials have been airlifted to Ngangu camp and Chimanimani town, including essential nutrition commodities,which contain enough supplies to cover immediate needsin Chimanimani district. Helicopter airlifts of medical kits to Ngangu and Mutambara Mission Hospital have also taken place, and a team of health workers has been dispatched to Skyline in Chimanimani, where a mobile clinic has been set up to support displaced people.

An additional 300 boxes of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF)and 30MT of blended food are on their way to affected districts. As of March 22,1,600 tents and1,200 Non-Food Items (NFI kits) had been delivered and distribution was underway.

Active screening, for early identification, referral for treatment and community level follow-up of children admitted for treatmentof severe acute malnutrition (SAM)is ongoing through the operational health facilities.

Some 2,000 hygiene kits are being transported to Skyline for airlifting to Chimanimanidistrict. A total of 243children and young women have been reached with psychosocial first aid at rescue centers and Tongorara refugee camp, while 12 social workers -including clinical trauma counsellors-are in affected areas and 16 additional social workers are being deployed by air to reach inaccessible wards.

At least1, 350 dignity kits have been distributed as a rapid GBV mitigation strategy, along with 1,000 mama kits.

IOM is supporting the Chimanimani district civil protection to establish temporary collective sitesfor displaced peopleat Wengezi, Skyline and Ngangu.

IOM has distributed 1,000 tarpaulins and 200 NFI kits for Manicaland (Tangana, Chipinge and Chimanimani) to facilitate rapid initial response. IOM is also assisting in WASH activities through the provision of NFIs and restoration of sewer and water infrastructure.  The Displacement Tracking Matrix is being rolled out to track population mobility and sectoral needs.

The Logistics Cluster is establishing a logistics hub in Mutare where a UNhelicopter will deploy and storage for relief supplies will be provided.

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