By Idah Mhetu
GOVERNMENT has deployed at least 66 trauma counsellors to the cyclone-ravaged Manicaland province’s Chimanimani district to provide services to victims of the natural disaster that ripped through the area last month.
Authorities have indicated they are targeting some 236 volunteer counsellors to provide psycho-social support to survivors of the tragedy that killed nearly 400 people with hundreds still unaccounted for.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa revealed the developments during a post cabinet briefing on Tuesday. Mutsvangwa told the media that the 66 volunteer counsellors have already finished their training and are already on the ground.
“Sixty-six out of a target of 236 volunteer counsellors on trauma care have gone through training and have been deployed to the severely affected wards in Chimanimani,” Mutsvangwa said.
Cyclone Idai left a trail of devastation, with hundreds losing their lives while tens of thousands now need counselling to get over the horrific experience.
More than 40 000 victims are in dire need of the psychological care, most of them shocked by the loss of their loved ones, homes and their livelihoods.
Lilian Muzimba, a victim who is currently staying at Chimanimani Hotel, last week told newzimbabwe.com that psychological care was now key.
“We have already started receiving care since, we really need it because at times it’s scary when it is about to rain. At times you start thinking what if the cyclone comes back again,” she said.
Mutsvangwa added that 1 654 internally displaced people are sheltered and receiving relief assistance at seven holding centres in Chimanimani and Chipinge.
The Information Minister said a total of 46 602 people among them children, the elderly, and the disabled have so far been given relief assistance.
Government according to Mutsvangwa has already began the construction and repair of ablution facilities and rehabilitation of school infrastructure in the affected areas in which education serves are currently suspended.
Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa said the Chinese government has tasked six of its companies operating in Zimbabwe to undertake the repair of roads, drill boreholes, rehabilitate power infrastructure, provide mobile hospitals, building of houses and communication networks in the cyclone-ravaged areas.
The companies are expected to use their own financial resources and will be reimbursed by the Chinese government.
“The companies will utilise their own financial resources and be reimbursed by the Chinese government,” Mutsvangwa told journalists.