Zimbabwe: Cyclone Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRZW012

A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster

Tropical Cyclone Dineo (Category 1) moved south-west over the Mozambique Channel towards southern Zimbabwe. Forecasts issued by the Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSDZ) indicated that the country will experience tropical cyclone-type rainfall starting from Thursday 16 up to Monday 20 February 2017. The tropical cyclone was to be a serious threat and would be preceded by very strong and damaging winds followed by extreme flooding. It was expected that the humanitarian impact of Tropical Cyclone Dineo would be massive as projections showed that it will bring widespread torrential rain and damaging winds.

Despite the fact that cyclone Dineo has been downgraded as tropical depression ex-Dineo as it moved over land, it still caused heavy rainfall over 100 mm/24 hours, and strong winds in several parts of Zimbabwe. The National Disaster Response Agency issued the warning signal for 13 districts in 5 provinces – Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Midlands, Masvingo, and Manicaland. Communities located along the Limpopo basin and Middle Sabi valley on the Southern Part are at highest risk.

The tropical depression resulted in damages to houses and public buildings, infrastructure, including roads, dams and electricity. It is also threatening that as the rains continue in the areas it might cause localized floods and inundations of agricultural land affecting production and livelihoods.

Summary of the current response

In view of the projected needs, and after analysing its capacity as well as taking expectations on the National Society into account for this emergency, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) has requested funds from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support initial response activities. The support provided will enable needs assessment and initial response activities conducted by Red Cross volunteers and personnel, dispatch and distribution of appropriate relief supplies to beneficiaries based on needs identified, from the NS contingency stocks. Dispatching specialized equipment closer to the affected areas in case needs arise for their usage. Based on further information and rapid assessments being conducted since 19 February, the immediate needs are found in emergency shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation. When conditions are safe to allow further assessment, additional assistance might be requested through the IFRC international disaster response mechanisms. Should the needs be less than anticipated, any unspent funds will be returned to the DREF. The numbers of affected people stated above are based on historical records from previous emergencies in the areas currently hit by ex-Dineo.

ZRCS is closely monitoring the unfolding humanitarian crisis and have activated their disaster response plans. ZRCS has prepositioned 500 tarpaulins, 100 shelter tool kits, 100 sanitary plats, 100 plastic sheeting, 600 buckets, 180 jerrycans, 25 boxes of soaps and 500 sanitary pads to the Midlands warehouse from its own contingency stocks. These stocks are being mobilised to the affected areas. National Society NDRT teams and 100 ZRCS volunteers trained in various domain such as shelter, health and WASH, have been mobilised to conduct needs assessments in five regions. Volunteers will form teams of 20 people in each area to conduct detailed needs assessment. Information will be shared with the ZRCS operations manager also present in the field from the NS HQ.