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Midlands cyclone survivors appeal for help


A classroom block at Gambiza Primary School in Chiwundura, Midlands province which was destroyed by Cyclone Idai nearly two weeks ago


SURVIVORS of Cyclone Idai in the Midlands province have sent a distress call after their homes and a school were razed by floods.

Twenty-seven families in Chirumanzu and Chiwundura were rendered homeless after their homes were destroyed by Cyclone Idai-induced floods nearly two weeks ago.

Two classroom blocks and four staff houses at Gambiza Primary School in Chiwundura were also destroyed.

Affected villagers told Southern Eye this week that their families were living in the open, while learning programmes had also been disrupted.

“We are yet to get food aid and support. We appeal to the government and well-wishers to rescue us because our situation is dire,” Nomore Musundire, a villager in Chiwundura, said.

Another villager, Vakai Gadzigwa said what was troubling the affected community was news that some areas had already received aid, yet nothing had come to Chiwundura.

The villagers also revealed that they fear Gambiza Primary School teachers may not report for duty if nothing is done to rebuild the school.

“Teachers have since gone away because the staff quarters were destroyed and there is nowhere to stay. Children cannot also learn comfortably because the classroom’s roof was blown off. We need aid urgently,” another villager said.

Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Larry Mavima told Southern Eye that he was aware of the plight of Chiwundura villagers.

“Last week, I went there with my JOC (Joint Operations Command) team. As government, we are busy mobilising support for the people in Chiwundura who were affected by Cyclone Idai,” he said.

Chiwundura MP Livingstone Chimina (MDC Alliance) said he would be going to Chiwundura today to assess the impact of the floods.

“From what I have heard from people on the ground, there is urgent need for food, temporary shelter for both villagers and teachers at a local school as well as psycho-social support for the children who are traumatised,” he said, adding that limitations placed on him by court processes had prevented him from visiting his constituency. He has since been cleared of charges of conspiring to topple the government.

“We call upon government and the non-governmental organisation sector to turn their eyes to Chiwundura. The people there need aid and help just like others who faced the similar tragedy elsewhere,” Chimina said.

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