HomeNewsRed Cross rescues Cyclone Eloise affected villagers

Red Cross rescues Cyclone Eloise affected villagers

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BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI

HUMANITARIAN organisation, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) has come to the rescue of more than 2 000 people in three provinces of the country that where mostly affected by Cyclone Eloise in January.

Tropical Cyclone Eloise made a landfall in Zimbabwe on the evening of January 23 with wind speeds of up to 160km per hour.

It brought heavy rains in the south eastern parts of the country, mainly in Masvingo, Manicaland and Matabeleland provinces.

According to the Meteorological Services Department, the heavy rains caused flooding, mudslides and destruction of infrastructure in the southern parts of the country.

ZRCS, through its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF), reached out with assistance to communities in Chipinge, Manicaland province, Chivi and Chiredzi (Masvingo province) and Beitbridge (Matabeleland South province).

“The overall target for this DREF operation is 2 000 people or 400 households in the affected areas of Chivi, Chiredzi, Chipinge and Beitbridge districts where we are assisting with WASH [water, sanitation and hygiene], emergency shelter and household items, psychosocial support and first aid. All targeted communities are in rural areas, except in Beitbridge where we are assisting in an urban area,” said ZRCS head of communications Stambuli
Kim.

“Of the targeted households, 200 of the most affected will receive emergency shelter items, while the overall households will receive household items. All targeted households will benefit from the hygiene and health
project.”

Kim said priority was given to the most vulnerable groups/people in the community, including female-headed households, pregnant and lactating women, child-headed households, orphans and vulnerable children, elderly people, with disabilities, as well as chronically ill people.

Meanwhile, Kim said efforts to reach out to some communities in Chivi had been affected by the rains that continue to pound most parts of Masvingo province.

“Thirteen wards in Masvingo rural were the most affected in different ways, with ward 34 being the worst affected, leaving 284 people from 48 families in Village 22 displaced.

Upon realising that the villagers’ lives were endangered by the rising water levels in Tugwi-Mukosi Dam, government made efforts to evacuate the villagers to Gunikuni Primary School, which had been identified as an evacuation centre,” Kim said.

“However, some buses meant to carry the affected families could not reach the affected areas due to poor road network. The villagers then opted to move to a higher place about three kilometres away from their original homes.”

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