THE Government yesterday said it was overwhelmed by the local, regional and international goodwill gestures in helping people affected by Cyclone Idai, as the United Arab Emirates and Sadc, companies and individuals weighed in with an assortment of donations.
Zimbabwe yesterday received a 95-tonne consignment from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society to assist the victims while Sadc weighed in with US$500 000 worth of donations.
The consignments were received by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo, Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo, Deputy Minister for Local Government Jennifer Mhlanga and senior Government officials.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) put up a US$500 000 emergency fund for disaster mitigation.
In a statement, SADC chairperson President Hage Geingob of Namibia said the contribution is “in solidarity with the affected countries as they recover from the tragedy” caused by Cyclone Idai.
Mozambique, which is the hardest hit will receive US$200 000 with Zimbabwe and Malawi receiving US$150 000 each.
The SADC Chair applauded other member states for the support which they extended to the affected communities.
“SADC appreciates the overwhelming support extended to the communities by member states, cooperating partners and mostly citizens of the three countries. SADC stands in solidarity with the three countries as they recover from the tragedy.
“In this regard, SADC has contributed a total of US$500 000 as follows, US$200 000 to Mozambique, and US$150 000 to Malawi and US$150 000 to Zimbabwe. We call upon all our partners within and beyond the region to continue supporting the rescue operations and in providing the needed humanitarian assistance,” he said.
He called upon SADC member states to redouble their efforts to strengthen disaster risk management capacities as emphasised in the SADC Disaster Preparedness and Response Strategy adopted in 2016 and to fully operationalise the necessary collaborative mechanisms to ensure rapid responses to disasters.
“In view of the increased occurrence of climate related catastrophes, such as cyclones, floods and droughts around the world and especially in the SADC region, SADC reiterates its call for joint global efforts to reduce global warming and the impacts of climate change and variability while stepping up efforts to enhance adaptive capacities of developing countries,” he said.
He sent his condolence messages to the affected countries and the bereaved families.
“The Cyclone, which killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands others, left a trail of destruction to land and infrastructure affecting accessibility and provision of health care and welfare to the affected communities. SADC expresses heartfelt condolences to the people and governments of the three countries and indeed to the bereaved families.”
Yesterday Zimbabwe received a 95-tonne consignment from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in co-operation with the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society to assist the victims of Cyclone Idai.
Minister Moyo thanked the UAE for the good gesture which he said will go a long way in assisting the 26 villages that were affected by the cyclone.
“The major thing is to reach to families and the 26 villages we have identified. At the moment, we cannot access areas except by air. We are working hard to open up new roads and repair bridges.
“You (UAE), Red Crescent and Red Cross have been assisting with medicines. We need to restore water and electricity in Chimanimani. While we are focusing on the epicentre which is the Eastern Chimanimani we also need to look at other areas such as Gutu, Bikita, Zaka and Buhera.
“We thank the leadership for all we have received. This is because of the good relations established by our President Mnangagwa,” he said.
Dr Moyo thanked the UAE for coming in with assistance especially on the medical side.
“The medicines will ensure we are on the top of the situation as we prepare for diarrhoeal diseases such as typhoid. The tents will help us shelter the displaced and also prevent diseases that come along with being exposed,” he said.
UAE Red Crescent operations manager, Mr Salem Alameri said they have been working well with the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and on Saturday visited one of the affected schools.
“We have seen the damage caused by the storms and we are working with the Red Cross to assist the victims,” he said.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Jennifer Mhlanga yesterday said the humanitarian assistance from Zimbabweans, regional and international community to people affected by Cyclone Idai was overwhelming and impressive.
Deputy Minister Mhlanga said this during a handover ceremony of goods worth thousands of dollars that were mobilised by members of the Apostolic Faith Mission led by Reverend Cossum Chiangwa in Waterfalls yesterday.
“We have seen a generous Zimbabwe and a highly responsive regional and international community extending their helping hand towards the affected people. There has been an overwhelming response that is indeed remarkable. You have shown that humanitarian efforts is a collective thrust. What could we have done as Government without you?” said Deputy Minister Mhlanga.
She challenged the church to visit the affected families as part of healing efforts.
“I am humbled today to be among you on behalf of the Government and my President Mnangagwa to witness this touching handover ceremony of food and non-food items donated by members of the AFM in Zimbabwe,” she said.