Humanitarian needs continued to rise in Zimbabwe as the price of basic goods increased, while families struggled to cope with drought and the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. At the same time, a combination of below-average rains and economic challenges indicated that the next harvest could be significantly curtailed.
Weather forecasts projected below-average rainfall until December in the southern parts of the country, while the shortage of foreign currency hampered the importation of agricultural inputs and the high cost of basic inputs spiralled beyond the reach of small holder farmers.
Children’s education and safety was increasingly jeopardized by the crisis. The government’s school feeding programme continued to face implementation challenges in terms of commodity supply and related transport costs. At the same time, the provision of teaching and learning materials declined and safe water and sanitation facilities in many schools were adversely affected. There were also anecdotal reports of children dropping-out of school to support their families.
The crisis also increased protection risks, with a 70 per cent increase in reported child violation cases from August, along with an increase in the number of children living on the streets.
The onset of rains in some locations, coupled with unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene practices, heightened the risk of communicable disease outbreaks. In rural areas, of the nearly 55,600 water sources tracked by the rural water information management system (RWIMS), only 30 per cent had water and were functional and protected. In urban areas, electricity and chemical supply challenges led to a significant decrease in piped water supply and many people had to rely on unsafe sources.
Some 224 families who were unable to return home continued to live in four camps in Cyclone Idai-affected areas. As the camps will remain over the rainy season, sanitation and bathing facilities need to be strengthened, as do protection measures, particularly to prevent gender-based violence.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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