Cyclone Idai Hits Zimbabwe

Cyclone Idai Hits Zimbabwe


On the morning of Friday, 15 March, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe were hit by Cyclone Idai, causing massive floods that destroyed houses, swept away fields, uprooted trees, and demolished bridges. One of the worst storms to hit Southern Africa in decades, Cyclone Idai has unleashed a humanitarian crisis affecting nearly one million people and forcing more than 80,000 from their homes. The storm  lashed eastern Zimbabwe, leaving about 150 dead and a death toll that could rise to as much as 500, local government minister July Moyo said after a cabinet briefing. Worst hit was Chimanimani and Chipinge in Manicaland, an eastern province that borders Mozambique. The crisis has been declared a national disaster.


Crops in the affected areas were destroyed and livestock lost.  At least 20,000 houses have been partially damaged while 600 others were totally destroyed. The government is struggling to cope with the huge influx of affected households who are now sheltered in churches and temporary structures set up by UN agencies. Several aid agencies are assisting government efforts in the search and rescue operations and in the distribution of food aid. The people of Zimbabwe have come out in their numbers to donate food, clothes, toiletries and many have volunteered to assist wherever the expertise is needed.  


Help is still needed as the crisis is far from over.  Those affected by the cyclone find themselves in a desperate situation, with many unmet vital humanitarian needs such as access to food, clothing, blankets, sanitary wear, diapers, soap, bathing buckets, and toiletries, access to health, communication and education. The dire situation is further compounded for people with vulnerabilities, more specifically for women and girls as they struggle for access to sanitary wear and basic hygiene. There is a pressing need to provide immediate assistance to minimize loss of life and to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are covered first.


In Harare, where most of the Tariro students are, the effects of Cyclone Idai were very minimal. Harare only experienced cold and wet weather. None of the Tariro-supported students were directly affected by the cyclone, and they continue with their schooling. Tariro will be donating sanitary ware to support women and girls affected by the crisis.


If you would like to make a donation to support the victims of Cyclone Idai, please review this list compiled by PBS of charities responding to the disaster. Thank you!


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