Zimbabwe: Flash Floods - Feb 2014
Heavy rains in parts of Zimbabwe in late January and early February 2014 resulted in deaths and displacement of people, coupled with destruction of property. The worst affected areas were Chivi and Masvingo districts in Masvingo province and Tsholotsho district in Matabeleland North (OCHA, 07 Feb 2014). On 11 Feb, Zimbabwean authorities launched an international appeal for $20 million to help some 20,000 people displaced by flooding (Govt, 12 Feb 2014).
By the end of February, an estimated 2,194 households had been moved to the Chingwizi resettlement camp(OCHA, 28 Feb 2014). By 16 May, an estimated 15,625 people were living at Chingwizi(OCHA, 16 May 2014). In August, the Government officially closed the Chingiwizi transit camp (The Zimbabwean, 19 Aug 2014).
Zimbabwe: Coerced Into Precarious Resettlement
20,000 Displaced Flood Victims Lack Adequate Food, Shelter
The Zimbabwe government has used violence, harassment, and the deliberate restriction of humanitarian aid to coerce an estimated 20,000 flood victims to resettle on tiny land plots where the government plans to establish a sugar cane plantation, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
MASVINGO, 10 September 2014 (IRIN) - More than 3,000 families in Zimbabwe’s southeastern Masvingo Province who accuse the government of forcibly resettling them to small plots of undeveloped land, are facing hardships including a lack of adequate food, shelter, health and education facilities.
WASHINGTON DC— Reports say police are harassing displaced Chingwizi villagers, who were recently allocated plots at Nuanetsi Ranch, after they were stranded at a temporary shelter in Masvingo province due to lack of funds.
Attorney Kennedy Masiye of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says the situation may get out of hand if it is not stopped as the villagers feel that the police are overstepping their authority.
Some of the villagers claim that the police are terrorizing them at their new home.
The government has officially closed Chingiwizi transit camp where at least 12 000 people affected by flooding along the Tokwe Mukosi dam basin have been staying since February amid reports that police have since declared the camp site a no go area.
Villagers said that they were forced to accept the one hectare piece of land offered by the state while those who resisted were completely chased away.
The Zimbabwean has established that the camp is now deserted and only armed police officers have remained.
Defence for Children International Zimbabwe (DCIZ) has blamed ‘well-wishers’ for the rising cases of child abuse.
The chief executive, Elfas Mcloud Zadzagomo, said some 'co-called' well-wishers who visit desperate people in places such as Chingwizi Transit Camp and children on the streets, allegedly to help, end up abusing the intended beneficiaries.
“We have learnt with dismay that people supposedly assisting people at Chingwizi were among those accused in the rising number of cases of sexual abuse,” he said.
It never rains but pours for victims of the Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims. The over 20,000 people affected by the floods have been struggling to get food and water.
Now the government is confiscating tents that were donated by non-governmental organizations from the flood victims and dumping them in ‘no man’s land’ in the Nuanetsi Ranch.
This is in a move meant to force the villagers to leave the Chingwizi Holding Camp where they have been living since February.
(Johannesburg, August 9, 2014) – Anti-riot police on August 3, 2014, beat and arrested hundreds of people at a camp housing approximately 20,000 displaced people in southern Zimbabwe, Human Rights Watch said today. A humanitarian crisis is developing as thousands fled in fear and may be living in the open without access to food or health facilities.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) unreservedly condemns the violence that erupted in Chingwizi Camp from 31 July. The violence occurred following the government’s attempts to relocate clinic facilities from the camp that has a carrying capacity of about 3 000 families to the site earmarked for resettlement, which currently has only about 600 families.
A Cabinet Commission Review found that during the 2013/2014 flood season, all provinces with the exception of Namibe recorded rains with considerable material and human damage, including the destruction of 6,317 houses, affecting more than 70,000 people.
By Davison Mudzingwa and Francis Hweshe
MASVINGO, Zimbabwe, Jun 25 2014 (IPS) - As the villagers sit around the flickering fire on a pitch-black night lit only by the blurry moon, they speak, recounting how it all began.
They take turns, sometimes talking over each other to have their own experiences heard. When the old man speaks, everyone listens. “It was my first time riding a helicopter,” John Moyo* remembers.
“The soldiers came, clutching guns, forcing everyone to move. I tried to resist, for my home was not affected but they wouldn’t hear any of it.”
An estimated 383,261 people were affected by floods or storms and at least 117 people lost their lives during the 2013/2014 rainfall season.
Tropical Cyclone Hellen, which impacted Mozambique, Comoros and Madagascar in late March, was one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded in the Mozambique Channel.
In Zimbabwe, the more than 15,625 people evacuated remain in dire living conditions.
The political environment throughout the country has remained relatively peaceful with a significant reduction in incidents of politically motivated human violations recorded during the month. There were 181 incidents witnessed in April down from the 224 cases recorded in March 2014.
Zimbabwe was affected by floods, landslides and hailstorms on the 09.02.2014 affecting approximately 20 000 people. The government of Zimbabwe declared the flooding in Tokwe Mukosi, Masvingo province a national disaster. The affected population was relocated to Chingwizi transit camp.
The disaster declaration expired on 9 May, three months after the onset of the emergency, and will not be extended.
The food situation at Chingwizi is critical with nothing in stock for May.
There are currently 3,125 households living at either the camp or permanent site at Chingwizi.
According to district authorities, 376 families have relocated to the permanent site at Chingwizi.
Humanitarian assistance continues, but gaps remain and need to be addressed.
Flood Victims Face Loss of Food Aid Unless They Grow Sugar Cane
(Johannesburg, May 15, 2014) – The Zimbabwe government is threatening to deny food aid to about 20,000 displaced people, apparently to force them into sugar cane farming at a ruling party ethanol project, Human Rights Watch said today.
Syria: Fierce fighting between opposition groups has led to further displacement in Deir-ez-Zor while a truce between the Government and the opposition is expected to see the Old City of Homs handed over to the Government after its recent campaign to retake it.