Zimbabwe

Situation report on floods in Zimbabwe - Issue no. 005, 31 Dec 2007

HIGHLIGHTS

- 2,832 refugees affected by flooding at Tongogara camp in Eastern Zimbabwe.

- Floods in the Muzarabani (Zambezi Valley area) in northern Zimbabwe have stopped, according to the Government's Civil Protection Unit (CPU).

- Traditionally flood prone areas such as Tsholotsho (Matebeleland North), Masvingo, and Chikwarakwara (Matebeleland South) are being closely monitored by respective district civil protection committees.

- See map of flood prone areas in Zimbabwe in a separate attachment.

SITUATION UPDATE

On 30 December 2007, UNHCR reported that about 2,832 refugees (1616 male / 1,181 female), including 475 children under four were affected by floods beginning 4:00 pm local time on Saturday 29 December 2007 at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge district, in south-eastern Zimbabwe near the border with Mozambique. The Deputy Director of CPU confirmed the flooding at the refugee camp adding that an unspecified number of refugees were evacuated to two nearby schools. On 31 December, UNHCR reported that the flood waters had significantly subsided and some of the refugees had begun returning to their houses in the camp. The floods also caused limited damage to stocks in the camp warehouse.

On 31 December, IOM received reports of additional floods in Chipinge district affecting 5 villages and a total of 4,000 households. IOM is currently in the process of confirming these reports.

Zimbabwe has experienced localized floods throughout the month of December, particularly in Muzarabani, in the northern part of the country. At the peak of flooding in Muzarabani around 21 December 2007, about 600 families were affected in various ways such as displacement and loss of shelter, crops and livestock (particularly small livestock). United Nations agencies, the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) and NGOs continue to deliver assistance to the affected people and the situation in the area is reported by the CPU to be under control.

No additional information on new floods has been received from other flood prone areas yet but monitoring by CPU continues.

RESPONSE

Tongogara/Chipinge. CPU is compiling a report on the situation at Tongogara and the Chipinge area while working with the police in the area to monitor the situation. Meanwhile, UNHCR is working to obtain more information from their local staff in the area, while liaising with their government counterparts. However, communication with the affected areas by phone and radio remains difficult.

Muzarabani. The local (national level) response is so far able to cope with the needs arising from effects of flooding in Muzarabani. In addition to what has been reported in previous situation reports, the following assistance has been delivered or is in the pipeline since 20 December;

World Food Programme / Christian Care (WFP/CC) distributions;

- WFP/CC distributed 32.712 MT of food to 2,400 beneficiaries on 23 December 2007 - a one month ration for the 3,000 planned beneficiaries. Only households who had both houses and food stocks washed away by the floods were registered for the food distributions. Distributions scheduled for the 24th of December 07 did not take place because secondary transporters were unable to ferry food to Chadereka food distribution point (FDP) due to impassable roads. Even 4x4 vehicles can hardly reach the area. Efforts should be made to reach more affected people with food.

- The final figure of people in need of food may go up from the original 3,000 given that four villages could not make it to Chadereka FDP because of flooded rivers. Field reports are that the one month ration distributed to the 2,400 is being shared.

- WFP/CC have consulted with the CPU and possibilities of airlifting the food are slim considering the huge quantities involved and fuel problems.

IOM distributed the following assistance on 20 and 21 December 2007;

- Shelter: 130 families received tarpaulins,

- Blankets: 108 families received two blankets each and 22 received one double blanket each,

- Mosquito nets: 260 mosquito nets were distributed to 130 families and 40 nets could not be distributed because of rains and pending verifications.

- Aqua tabs: 4,550 aqua tablets were distributed to 130 families .The families were also taught on the usage of these tablets. Seven hundred tablets were not distributed. The supply was adequate for a week.

- Medical drugs:  IOM supplied Chadereka clinic with drugs that were not in stock. Some of the drugs included antibiotics and intra-venous fluids. A comprehensive list may be obtained from IOM.

- Health education: Health education and awareness on waterborne diseases and malaria was carried out in two day sessions and 400-500 people were reached. The affected area is also malaria prone.

- Condoms: 6,000 units were distributed as follows: village health workers from 15 villages received 3,000 while the other 3,000 units were placed at the clinic.

- Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials: 600 units were distributed (200 on gender based violence and 400 units on HIV and AIDS).

On 28 December, UNICEF sent some additional medical supplies to the Ministry of Health authorities in Mashonaland Central province in response to a letter of request from the ministry to provide more medical supplies to Muzarabani flood affected families as follows;

- Chloride of Lime (5 X 25kg),

- ORS sachets (200),

- Ringer Lactate (300) and,

- IEC materials in Shona and English (1,000).

RECOMMENDATION

High alert to be maintained in flood-prone and affected areas like Tsholotsho, Save Valley, Limpopo Valley and Zambezi Valley.

CONTACTS

Alf Blikberg, OCHA OIC. Phone: +263-11-638096 / 792681-6 ext. 353 Email: blikberg@un.org

Felix Dogbey, Information Management Officer, Phone: +263-912277694 / 792681-6 ext. 350 Email: dogbey@un.org

MAP - Flood Prone Areas in Zimbabwe Including Some Sites of Flooding as at 11th January 2008

Disclaimer

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