News Column

Tents Run Out At Chingwizi

February 26, 2014

Government is appealing for additional 20 000 tents to provide temporary shelter to victims of Tokwe-Mukosi floods relocated to Chingwizi in Nuanetsi Ranch as the number of families at the holding camp continues to surge. Besides a shortage of tents, the camp faces a maize deficit of nearly 2 000 tonnes amid calls for more food donations.

Slightly over 1 500 families have been relocated from the dam's flood basin to Chingwizi and the remaining less than 900 would be cleared within the next week.

Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti yesterday said tents to shelter new arrivals had run out at Chingwizi.

Speaking after receiving a donation of 11 tents, 150 blankets, 10 tonnes of maize and nearly 200 text books from the United Methodist Church and Great Zimbabwe University students at his offices, Cde Bhasikiti said additional tents were urgently needed.

"We have run out of tents at Chingwizi and the 11 that have been donated by the United Methodist Church will immediately go to the holding camp.

"We need about 19 626 more tents to provide effective temporary shelter to families already at Chingwizi and the less than 900 remaining in the basin."

"There is also a deficit of 1 803 tonnes of maize to enable us to feed the families considering that they will need food assistance over the next 12 months," he said.

Minister Bhasikiti said each family was getting three tents, but more would be required to decongest the holding camp.

"There will be over 18 000 people at Chingwizi from the 2 519 families who will be relocated there and we want to reduce overcrowding so that there is no disease outbreak and loss of life."

Plans were underway to build four primary and two secondary schools for thousands of children at the camp.

Cde Bhasikiti said two of the primary schools would be operational next week and appealed for funds to purchase building materials which are in short supply.

Two boreholes have also been drilled to ease water shortages as supplies are coming through bowsers from Buffalo Range, which is 40km away.

The minister said safety at Tokwe-Mukosi Dam had remarkably improved following a sharp drop in water levels which no longer threatened the wall.

Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa of UMC said his church mobilised donations after a call for assistance from President Mugabe who declared the flooding in Tokwe-Mukosi basin and downstream areas a state of disaster.

GZU students used their pocket money to buy books for the flood victims.

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Source: AllAfrica

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