Early Recovery programme for Cyclone Idai survivors

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By Staff Reporter

Chimanimani: Action Aid Zimbabwe, in partnership with Jekesa Pfungwa-Vulingqondo and Simukai Child Protection Programme, is introducing an early recovery programme for Cyclone Idai survivors in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

Reaching to over 5 000 people, Action Aid Zimbabwe is introducing interventions such as psychosocial support, and livelihood programmes in which beneficiaries are to receive agricultural seed.

ActionAid Zimbabwe focal person for the Women Led Emergency Programme, Peter Matimati said there will be construction of wooden cabins for shelter, support on learning materials for school pupils and construction and rehabilitation of toilets in affected community schools.

In addition, the programme will introduce supplementary feeding for children under five years, lactating and pregnant mothers.

“As we implement the early recovery programme, we will emphasise on our humanitarian signature of promoting women leadership, protection and accountability during emergencies focusing on the full participation of women in all processes including amplifying their voices.

“To promote women protection, the toilets to be constructed at community level will be lockable using screens to ensure their privacy and reduce potential incidences of women and girls experiencing sexual gender-based violence (SGBV),” said Matimati.

Matimati added that the wooden shelters will help in ensuring supported women and girls were free from harm such as SGBV as lack of shelter exposes them to various forms of abuse.

He said the focus on women protection will also include creation of safe spaces for women and girls, provision of information on SGBV to these groups so that they know where to report SGBV and obtain legal support on related issues.

“The livelihoods programmes will promote resilience building for the affected community members and build them back better from where they were before Cyclone Idai,” said Matimati.

Bertha Jambaya, the director of Jekesa Pfungwa said, “The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai disaster affected women more than men, resulting in psychological trauma especially among women and young girls.

“The programmes on psychosocial support will thus go a long way in ensuring women recover, have hope in life and build their self-esteem.”

With funds from the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) in partnership with the ActionAid International Humanitarian Action Response Team (IHART), the programme is supported to the tune of GBP 250 000, running from April to September 2019.

In March, ActionAid Zimbabwe responded to Cyclone Idai by providing food and non-food items worth about GBP 50 000 supported by IHART for the affected communities to meet their immediate needs.

Some of the support included sanitary wear, towels and undergarments for women and girls, water buckets, pots and various food items such as beans, kapenta and cooking oil.

The March Cyclone Idai was the worst natural disaster to hit Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi in the past two decades.

In Zimbabwe, according to government statistics, the disaster claimed 344 lives whereas 347 were left missing while 4 500 were displaced.

A total of 270 000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, with women and children affected the most.