Edwin Nhukarume, H-Metro Reporter
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, July Moyo, yesterday appealed for more help from SADC and the international community as he highlighted the extent of the damage caused by Cyclone Idai.
Speaking during the press conference held in the capital, Minister Moyo said it is imperative that SADC extend their help on the current challenges being faced by Zimbabwe emanating from the disastrous Cyclone Idai.
“We know SADC has been overwhelmed with the disaster caused by Cyclone Idai, as Mozambique and Malawi were also affected.
“It would be great if SADC can also appeal to other organisations to lessen the burden.
“However, they are assisting us in some areas of importance in trying to curtail the extent of the damage caused,” said Minister Moyo.
“We have organised this meeting with the aim of coming up with a comprehensive document to appeal for help” he added.
The Minister emphasised on how the cyclone affected the infrastructure that need to be restored as it is the key factor of rebuilding the destroyed areas.
“The infrastructure has been damaged to the extreme levels, especially in Manicaland.
“Some of the bridges have been swept away and roads have been severely damaged and disappeared since in some were gravel roads and also the cyclone moved a lot of boulders that are scattered all over.
“Some areas at the moment cannot be reached because of this disaster, for example in Manicaland, the area beyond Chimanimani center to Chikukwa cannot be reached because the road network has been completely destroyed.
“The communication lines have also been disrupted and there is no network in those areas which is a cause for concern.
“The only place that has no reports of damage due to the cyclone in Manicaland is the Makoni district, it does not have reports of damaged infrastructure, dead people, injured and missing,” he said.
Minister Moyo also mentioned other provinces that were affected by the cyclone.
“In Masvingo areas such as Zaka, Gutu and Bikita were affected by this disaster and led to the deaths of six people with some of the infrastructure affected.
“And in Midlands, Chirumhanzu was also affected and other areas in the Mashonaland East,” he said.
Minister Moyo mentioned a list of requisites needed by those affected by the cyclone in the damaged areas.
“People in the affected areas need some basics that include, jerrycans, water purifying tablets, solar powered generators, mosquito nets – since we expect an upsurge of mosquitoes due to the torrential rainfalls experienced in Manicaland especially – baby foods and mealie meal since there is no grinding mills at the moment in those areas.
“Other needs include Mattresses and books for schools, generators, solar lamps, footwear, sanitary wear, roads, boreholes and the communication system needs to be restored,” he said.
The Minister of Information and Publicity and senator from Manicaland, Monica Mutsvangwa, who was also present amongst the ministers who accompanied Minister Moyo, stressed on the need for psychological help to the affected people.
“We need to have psycho social support centers in the areas affected by cyclone.
“It is an important aspect that need to be looked into and it should be part of the program helping the ones bereaving.
“The trauma experienced by the cyclone victims needs to be dealt with on a psychological level,” she said.
The press conference was attended by ambassadors from other countries in the SADC and other parts of the world including China.
Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Paul Mavhima, Minister of Information and Publicity, Monica Mutsvangwa attended the press conference.