Zimbabwe

Situation report on floods in Zimbabwe - Issue no. 004, 21 Dec 2007

HIGHLIGHTS

- Government declares floods a state of disaster.

- No new figures. Approximately, 600 households (3,000 individuals), displaced / affected as at 18 December 2007.

- The situation is under control and assistance from the Government and humanitarian community continues to reach the people.

- Traditionally flood prone areas in the country like Tsholotsho (Matebeleland North), Masvingo, and Chikwarakwara (Matebeleland South) being closely monitored by respective districts civil protection committees.

- Civil Protection Unit is creating a standby roaster of people to manage the floods during Chistmas holidays.

SITUATION UPDATE

Civil Protection Unit (CPU):

- Floods in Muzarabani are gradually subsiding though people still remain on high ground. Some of the affected people are reported to be back at work in their fields during the day and to 'safe havens' in the evenings

- Officially one seven-year-old child died of drowning in Muzarabani.

Meteorological Services Department (Met. Department):

- The department reported that the cold spell that is currently experienced across the country has greatly affected the rainfall trend, from being downpours to drizzles. Fortunately, this new trend reduces chances of flooding.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA):

- All the dams and rivers in the country are filling up at an extremely fast rate and there could be a threat of flooding in low lying areas as a result of localized flood surges or failing dam or river capacities.

- Hydrologically, low lying areas are likely to experience flash floods as opposed to main river backflows, which is the case in Muzarabani.

- The department warned that Mozambique is also in imminent threat of flooding from the eventual filling up and consequent backflow from Cabora Bassa dam.

NEEDS

The top priority needs for the affected communities are:

  • Tents, plastic sheeting
  • Prepared food (ready to eat)
  • Blankets
  • Cooking utensils
  • Water treatment kits
  • Medicines
  • Transport
  • Search and rescue capacity for the marooned communities

CPU and OCHA Have sent out a matrix to track and capture the assistance delivered and the remaining gaps from the organizations already responding to floods.

RESPONSE

- On 18 December, IOM has dispatched a team and truckload of non-food items and emergency assistance, including a nurse and an emergency health kit to respond to emergency health concerns, emergency shelter materials (tarpaulins), blankets, mosquito nets, condoms, aqua tabs (one week supply for 150 households), and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on HIV/AIDS, gender based violence, cholera, malaria and diarrhoea. IOM will work closely with OCHA, CPU, local government structures, and other organizations such as the Red Cross, ICRC and WFP to identify the gaps and ensure a comprehensive, coordinated response.

- On 19 December, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) sent out additional items (300 tarpaulins, 2000 blankets, 200 kitchen sets, 582 Jerry cans, rolls of plastic sheet, 5 boxes of water maker sachets (containing 1,000 each), and 53 bars of soap.

- On 20 December, ICRC sent 2,000 blankets and 300 tarpaulins to cover 1000 people.

- Other assistance delivered last week and early this week includes;

The GoZ

  • 20 tons mealie meal
  • 30 dozen bread
  • 45 blankets
  • 5 pieces of tent
  • 200 litres diesel
  • 1 Four-Wheel-Drive vehicle

The Red Cross, today (15/12/07) dispatched;

  • 100 blankets
  • 50 tarpaulins
  • 50 kitchen sets
  • 82 jerry cans of drinking water
  • 53 tablets of soap
  • 5,000 water maker sachets

World Food Programme and Christian Care response

- WFP and Christian Care are working closely to assess additional food requirements and organize dispatch of required additional food commodities to the affected site;

- On 17 December, WFP sent a field monitor to join Christian Care staff in location for information gathering, assessment, coordination and monitoring;

- On 17 December, WFP & Christian Care attended the Civil Protection Unit meeting in Harare, which provided a preliminary indication of the number of affected households (600 HH) and informed of food commodities request (20Mt mealie-meal, 10Mt dried fish, 5Mt salt, 10Mt soyabased flour). Food requirements to be verified by a field assessment.

- On 18 Dec, WFP sent a Vulnerability Assessment officer to join the above team to support the assessment of extent of the damage and specify the food requirements for those affected by the disaster;

- WFP & Christian Care will participate in the 19 December (10:00 a.m) meeting in Centenary at the District Administrator's office. See below info received from field radio communication.

- WFP will continue to work closely with and inform the OCHA focal point and has a standby team available to join in a coordinated joint assessment with UN agencies, Government and NGO partners.

RECOMMENDATION

- High alert to be maintained throughout the Christmas holiday period.

CONTACTS

Muktar Farah, OCHA Head a.i. Phone: +26311617732 / 792681-6 ext. 346 Email: muktar@un.org

Felix Dogbey, Information Management Officer, Phone: +263912277694 / 792681-6 ext. 350 Email: dogbey@un.org

Mustafa Omer, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, Phone: +26311611627 / 792681-6 ext. 355 Email: muhumedomer@un.org

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.