Zimbabwe: Floods Flash Update No. 4, 21 March 2019

Situation Report
Originally published



  • The death toll has risen to 139 people and 189 are still missing, according to government reports.

  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared 23 and 24 March 2019 as National Mourning Days.

  • The scale of destruction in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces is becoming clearer as access to the hardest-hit districts of Chimanimani and Chipinge improves.

  • At the Tongagora refugee camp, 1,100 housing shelters for 3,209 households have been completely or partially destroyed.


At least 139 deaths have been reported and 189 people are reportedly missing in Zimbabwe following flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai’s trajectory, according to the Ministry for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting. A further 136 people are reportedly marooned, while more than 4,300 people are displaced, according to the Government. The death toll is expected to rise as areas previously cut-off become reachable by road and the full extent of the damage becomes known.

In Chimanimani and Chipinge districts, at least half of the total population has been impacted, according to the preliminary findings of an inter-sector assessment mission which confirmed significant damage. Although not as badly hit, the districts of Buhera, Bikita, Chikomba, Gutu, Mutasa and Mutare have also sustained damage and many people have reportedly been displaced. At least 16,000 households have been displaced in Chimanimani (8,000), Mutare (4,000), Chipinge (3,000) and Buhera (1,000), according to the government.

Access to clean water remains a key challenge. In Chimanimani, urban areas still have no water supply due to badly damaged infrastructure, while in Chipinge town supply lines from the dam were washed away. Damage to road infrastructure has cut people off from access to assistance and services in multiple locations, with bridges reportedly damaged at Hmandarume, Matsororo, Mvumvumvu, Biriri, Muusha Primary School and Nyahode.

The Tongagora refugee camp—which houses over 12,000 people—has been affected by flooding. Some 1,100 shelters for 3,209 households have been completely or partially destroyed. Four out of five boreholes that supply the camp are out of commission due to power outages. Only one solar powered borehole is supplying water to the camp. More than 600 latrines in the camp have been destroyed.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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