Zimbabwe

Floods disaster in Zimbabwe

Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments


DESCRIPTION OF THE EMERGENCY SITUATION
On the 22nd of February 2000, Zimbabwe was hit by a devastating tropical cyclone with strong winds (Cyclone Eline). The cyclone affected the eastern and southern parts of the country. The cyclone happened when some parts of the country, particularly the main river basins were experiencing life threatening floods. These areas are in Save River basin in Manicaland, the Limpopo River in the southern provinces of Matebeleland South and Masvingo. The main tributaries of the Limpopo including the Shashe and Bubi rivers were affected. In these areas flooding was experienced around 4-6 February. In this season some very arid areas in Matebeleland South, Masvingo and Manicaland received uncharacteristically high rainfall. When the cyclone occurred it attacked an already fragile environment causing landslides and flooding. Communications systems were destroyed by strong winds, bridges were damaged and swept away, some dwellings were also swept away. The effect of the floods and the cyclone was that some people were left without access to the rest of the country. There is a strong possibility of disease outbreaks in the aftermath of the flood

The disasters happened during a period when the country is experiencing a deep economic crisis. There are shortages of petroleum fuels due to lack of foreign exchange for procurement. However, the national response to the emergency has generally been well with food supplies, clothing and various funds set up to support the affected.

Four provinces were affected by this cyclone and these are Manicaland, Matebeleland South, Masvingo and Midlands. Annex 2 shows the population distribution in the affected districts.

The UN Disaster Management Team has carried out a rapid assessment in the Manicaland Province. Another mission is due to leave for Beitbridge on Wednesday 8 March. The UN estimates that about 500 000 people were affected by the floods and cyclone and 96 000 of them would require urgent help in food, shelter, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, education and communications and transport. From this figure, about 20 000 people have been displaced and are homeless.

Further, the UN assessment is that there is no immediate life threatening situation to the affected people now that the floods have subsided. However, the possible disease outbreaks in these areas remain a main threat. Some of the displaced people are living in camps/schools, while others are either with friends or relatives.

To date, the Government of Zimbabwe, members of the public, NGO’s and the private sector have done a sterling job by contributing food, some medication e.g. prophylactics for malaria, water treatment tablets, some tents and even transport to ferry the donated goods to the needy.

The displaced people want to relocate to their original homes and consequently need assistance in various forms. This includes: -

  • Rehabilitation of the infrastructure around their locality to improve accessibility,
  • Urgent repairs of such infrastructure i.e. clinics and schools to normalise the lives of the affected communities
  • Clean water supply and sanitation to avert possible outbreaks of diseases and to make life as comfortable as possible for these people.

INFORMATION SOURCES

To come up with an estimate of requirements, the UN disaster management team used the various estimates from government, NGO’s and private sector, which included: -

  • The Civil Protection Unit in the Ministry of Local Government and National Housing.
  • Central Statistical Office
  • Commercial Farmers’ Union
  • Forestry Commission
  • Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWS)
  • District Development Fund
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Surveyor General’s Department

The field based comparisons of the data collected and the situation on the ground indicated that there were discrepancies between the two. In the absence of good and accurate data, the UN has had to estimate with the known information as a basis. The UN is also fielding three teams to assist with assessment and to improve the data on the current needs. The Forestry Commission are still working on the figures and indicated that the shortage of engineers to do the damage assessment is delaying compilation of information.

Summary of information collected

District
Affected
Deaths
Huts/houses damaged
Blair toilets damaged.
Bridges damaged
Chiredzi
150,000
6
2500
250
11
Zaka
36,000
27
20
3000
20
Province
Manicaland

15
1300

25
Masvingo

52



Midlands





Mat. South
1697
6


51
Source: Preliminary information collected from various sources including District Development Fund, Civil Protection Department, Care International, Provincial Administrators.

COORDINATION STRUCTURE

The Disaster Management Team (DMT) of the UN committed itself to co-ordinate the donor activities in an effort to avoid duplication of activities by donors interested in assisting the affected people. In doing so, the UN is liasing closely with government and the National Civil Protection Department, the Provincial Civil Protection and the Districts Civil Protection. The Disaster management Team convenes meetings to brief donors every week and is in constant dialogue with donors and government. The UN team is already discussing with on NGOs and will facilitate their co-ordination and interaction with donors. Some NGOS have been invited to donor meetings and presented their own assessments. The UN mission to Manicaland on 1 to 4 March intended to get first hand information on the extent of the damage caused by the cyclone as well as to show solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe at a time of their greatest need (bearing in mind that floods and cyclones are a rare phenomena in Zimbabwe and they literally caught the people unprepared). The next country mission to Matebeleland South is currently being organised. On the visit to the districts, the UN also found out that the District Civil Protection members could do with additional assistance. The UN is therefore fielding three teams consisting of UN staff to the affected Provinces. They will be deployed to the eight most affected districts spread out in all the four affected provinces to complement the efforts being made by the individual sector ministries to visit the districts and assess the extent of the damage now that most areas are accessible following the recession of the waters. They will also visit the other five less affected districts. Annex 3 in the document shows the Co-ordination structure in place.

REQUIREMENTS BY SECTOR

The preliminary assessment of 96 000 people in great need has been the basis for the requirements detailed below by sector. Due to the unavailability of accurate information, the figures are based on extrapolation and estimates. These requirements are for the immediate needs only. More requirements will arise from the assessment for immediate, medium and longer-term requirements. The requirements are thus expected to increase rather than decrease.

Summary table on requirements by sector

Sector
Amount US$
Food
26,000
Health
943,049
Water & Sanitation
196,500
Agriculture
15,000
Education
95,000
Communications
1,256,250
Coordination & Management
629, 000
Total
3,160,799
Summary table on Estimated Budgets For the UN Response (US$)
UN Agency
Estimated Budget
Available
Shortfall
FAO
15,000
0
15,000
UNDP
1,885,250
120,000
1,765,250
UNFPA
358,774
78,348
280,426
UNICEF
479,500
0
479,500
WFP
6,000
0
6,000
WHO
416275
0
416,275
Totals
3,160,799
198,348
2,962,451
(PDF*)

* Get Adobe Acrobat Viewer (free)