THERE is a need to continue supporting the victims of the Tokwe-Mukosi floods after food assistance to the victims ended in September.
Non-governmental organisations and humanitarian organisations withdrew from Chingwizi on September 30 where they had been helping the victims since February when floods rendered homeless thousands of families living on the Tokwe-Mukosi basin.
Government said it needs $3 million between now and next May to take care of the flood victims currently resettled at Chingwizi camp in the Nuanetsi Ranch.
The World Food Programme (WFP), which was one of the aid organisations providing assistance at Chingwizi, said the flood victims still needed support until the next harvest when they would be able to sustain themselves after many lost their crops due to the floods.
“While WFP assistance has ceased, it does not necessarily imply that all the needs have been fully covered,” WFP spokesperson Tomson Phiri said.
“Life can still be a real struggle for those without enough to eat and it is vital that vulnerable households bounce back quickly aftershocks such as floods or drought. There is therefore a need to support them.”
WFP, which provided assistance to 15 625 people displaced in February by flooding, said initially they had agreed that they would offer assistance for four months and they received money for the emergency response which was adequate for the time they had suggested.
“WFP received a generous contribution from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide food for four months at the camp from June 2014 until September 2014,” Phiri said.
“The assistance was meant to bridge the gap for the duration of the assistance period. As things now stand, WFP will no longer be able to continue providing assistance as the resources have been fully utilised.”
Phiri said WFP received $773 000 from CERF to provide cereals, cooking oil and pulses during the four months it provided assistance to Chingwizi villagers.
“The termination of assistance might mean an unfortunate reduction of support at a very difficult time, ironically as the lean season sets in,” he said.
“Nonetheless, it is our hope that the government and other actors might be able to assist them going forward as all affected people have since been resettled by the authorities on plots of land.”
Phiri said there was need to help communities with food during the upcoming lean season until the next harvest in April next year.
WFP has over the years assisted several Zimbabweans during times of poor harvests.