By Tatenda Mqetu
Cyclone Idai brought devastating effects to Manicaland and parts of Masvingo and Midlands. Infrastructure and livelihoods were destroyed by Cyclone Idai that rocked Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.
Masvingo Diocese joins the rest of the world in responding to the Tropical Cyclone Idai which ripped through Mozambique before moving inland into Zimbabwe and Malawi becoming the strongest to hit the region since 2008.
With Idai being already one of the deadliest storms to ever strike anywhere in the southern hemisphere Sekuru Bhasera christened all Catholics in the Diocese of Masvingo to assist the victims of the tropical cyclone.
“The coming of Cyclone Idai to our country and a trail of unprecedented destruction it left in Manicaland, parts of Masvingo and parts of Midlands is heart rending,” pointed Sekuru Bhasera
“This disaster left the country on the verge of despair. It is imperative that as the Church of Masvingo we do something out of charity and solidarity to alleviate the plight of the victims of this disaster,” Sekuru Bhasera added.
Masvingo Diocese Vicar General and Ex-Officio Director of Caritas Masvingo, Very Rev. Fr. Walter Nyatsanza also highlighted that Caritas would facilitate the collection and transportation of the contributed items to the victims of the cyclone.
“As Caritas we are facilitating the collection and transportation of the contributions by the Diocese to the victims of the cyclone and also go a step further in assisting our counterparts Caritas Mutare Diocese in the distribution of goods and services,” said Fr. Nyatsanza.
The UNICEF Zimbabwe Humanitarian Situation Report notes that Zimbabwe experienced torrential rainfall caused by Cyclone Idai from the 15th to the 17th of March 2019.
Cyclone Idai caused high winds and heavy precipitation in Chimanimani, Chipinge, Buhera, Nyanga, Makoni, Mutare Rural, Bikita, Masvingo and Gutu Districts causing riverine and flash flooding and subsequent deaths, and destruction of livelihoods and property.
To date, Chimanimani district is the most affected with an estimated 50,000 households/250,000 people, including 120,000 children, having been affected by the flooding and landslides after local rivers and their tributaries burst their banks. The flooding has caused significant damage to homes, schools, and other property, and in some cases led to death with water supply in Chimanimani and Chipinge suffering significant damage and will require rehabilitation, as over 250 boreholes and 18 urban and peri-urban water supply systems having been damaged.