THE Catholic Church has launched an appeal for thousands of people who have lost their homes and land after heavy rains caused a partial collapse of the Tokwe-Mukosi dam in the south west of the country.
Describing "sub-human conditions on the ground at Chingwizi camp" Fr Peter Chimombe said people in the camp look like "refugees in a war situation".
The incessant rains that Masvingo received this season saw dam water levels at Tokwe Mukosi rising beyond the expectations of the contractors.
Many homes were submerged under water and many people in the Tokwe catchment area had to be air lifted by Zimbabwean and Namibian air force helicopters. A lot of property was lost, including crops and livestock.
Churches, NGOs and individuals have rushed aid to the area, but Fr Chimombe said the situation is still dire.
"Makeshift schools have been constructed and these are manned by teachers whose former schools were also submerged beneath the merciless waters of Tokwe Mukosi which upon completion is set to be the largest inland dam, second to Kariba," he wrote.
"The major problem now facing the people is a psychological one. While the flood victims await their relocation to places like Gunikuni and Mwenezi, all they do is nothing but to sit and wait.
“They complain about everything from the relocation process which is taking longer than anticipated to neglect by Government.
“Preaching to such people does little to calm their anger which is reaching boiling point as they are even angry with God for having allowed the disaster to befall them.
“Safe drinking water is a problem, not to mention of toilet facilities and there are fears of an outbreak of waterborne diseases like cholera.
"Apparently some of these people were given cash to assist in the transportation of their goods and construction of new homes, but many have already lost the money to thieves who have descended at Chingwizi camp in droves like vultures at a gory feast."
Early this month, the Vicar General for Masvingo Diocese Fr Walter Nyatsanza and more than a dozen priests celebrated Mass at Chingwizi camp.
Life Lines, in collaboration with Jesuit Communications Zimbabwe, have produced the following short video on the plight of the people at Tokwe-Mukosi, and how you could help:
Catholic Tokwe Mukosi victims appeal