Tzu Chi's Humanitarian Aid to Flooding Survivors in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has been hit hard with a string of hardships. After months of drought last year, the rainy season residents prayed for ended up causing serious flooding that affected over 300 people. To offer assistance, Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in Zimbabwe from Harare headed to Zaka to help. They offered hot meals as well as rice and water purifying tablets for the residents.

After the severe drought last year in Zimbabwe, the rainy season which began in December brought continuous rain and flooded many areas, with Zaka City in the south, being the most severely affected. Flooding happened in Zimbabwe in early March, over 300 people dead or injured. Local residents left without hope.

"I've lost my blankets, my pots, things in my kitchen and my sheep and chicken. It’s all because of the flood.” One of victims in Zimbabwe said.

After the rain ceased, Tzu Chi volunteers began to conduct their disaster assessments. Volunteers departed Harare for Zaka, and what was originally supposed to be a five-hour journey turned into eight due to bad road conditions. During the journey, many of the roads were affected by the flooding, there were some roads that looked like rivers. The volunteers would test out the waters on foot to ensure the car's safe passage.

Knowing food is scarce in Zaka, volunteers brought vegetables and rice with them to host a hot meal distribution for the disaster victims. In total, they prepared over 5,000 portions. An 82-year-old woman, starved for 10 days, eats for the first time since flooding.

The next day, Tzu Chi volunteers held an aid distribution for 2,300 families, handing out rice and water purifying tablets, to prevent the spread of malaria.

Tzu Chi volunteers plans to conduct further assessments of individual household’s needs, as to better help them offer more flood relief in the future.


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