Zimbabwe: Muzarabani Floods DREF Operation No. MDRZW002

GLIDE no. FL-2007-000227-ZWE

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond disasters.

CHF 107,281 (USD 92,903 or EUR 64,594) has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the national society in delivering immediate assistance to some 1,000 families (some 5,000 beneficiaries). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Flooding has caused excessive damage to houses, infrastructure and crops in Muzarabani area of Mashonaland Central Province affecting approximately 1,000 families. After a rapid needs assessment, the affected families are in need of immediate food, shelter, clean water and sanitation facilities. Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) is seeking assistance to support the 1,000 affected families through a relief operation for a period of three months.

This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by 31 March, 2007. A Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 30 June, 2007).

The situation

Heavy rains accompanied by violent storms from 2 to 13 December 2007 have caused flooding in the Muzarabani area in Centenary district of Mashonaland Central Province. Muzarabani experiences perennial flooding, but normally from January to the end of the rain season in March. The timing of the current floods is a new experience. The heavy rains uprooted trees and destroyed houses, infrastructure and household property and swept away hectares of crops and livestock. Three people are reported to have died due to the disaster, although the police reports from the district attribute only one death to the floods, whilst the others are from natural causes. Displaced families are temporarily housed at schools situated on higher ground.

The worst affected area is in Chadereka ward situated 60 kilometres from Muzarabani Business Centre, which has a population of 6,657 households. A total of 1,000 households are affected with 400 of them losing almost all of their belongings. Most of the destroyed houses were constructed using mud instead of cement, which made them susceptible to collapsing.

The metrological department is predicting more rainfall in the next couple of days and there is potential of the vulnerability increasing. The floods have been declared a national disaster by the government, which is calling for national response.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Zimbabwe Red Cross Society: Emma Kundishora, Secretary General, zrcs@ecoweb.com phone +263 4 332 197 , fax + 263 4 335 490

In South Africa: Federation Southern Africa Zone; Francoise Le Goff; Head of Southern Africa Zone; francoise.leGoff@ifrcl.org, +27 11 303 9700; fax +27 11 884 3809

In Geneva: Flemming Nielsen, Head, Operations Coordination Team, phone: +41 22 730 4233; email: flemming.nielsen@ifrc.org