It is disheartening to note that thousands of families in Masvingo Province continue to struggle to access food, clothing, shelter and clean water after their properties and homesteads were swept away by floods a fortnight ago.
The Standard Editorial
While we applaud government for declaring the floods which resulted in the partial collapse of the Tokwe-Murkosi dam wall a national disaster, just doing that without swiftly mobilising sufficient resources is not good enough.
The conditions under which the people are living in at Chingwizi Section in Nuanetsi Range are deplorable.
The people have no access to clean water and they are drawing the precious liquid from contaminated pools and flooded rivers.
The shortage of toilets is forcing them to use the bush system, further exposing them to diseases.
In this desperate situation, women and children are the worst affected.
Some of the children have not been attending school because their homes were destroyed and the rivers are still flooded.
It is quite disturbing to note that women have run out of sanitary pads. Some are using dirty rags, which they cannot wash, because the water is equally dirty.
In view of this humanitarian crisis, we urge the government to take swift action to address the needs of the victims of floods, not only in Masvingo but in other parts of the country.
Government has appealed for US$20 million from the international community but it will obviously take time for it to receive any assistance. Reports that some donations have been looted, prompting government to deploy soldiers in Chivi communal area, may scare away donors.
It is therefore important for the government to urgently mobilise resources that can be channelled towards assisting the victims.
We are aware that a lot of financial resources have already been raised towards the holding of President Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday bash in Marondera soon.
Mugabe could show that he cares for the suffering people in Masvingo by forgoing or channelling part of the money towards his birthday to children and women who have no idea where their next meal will come from.