Idai survivors remain in tents as rainy season nears

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Over 700 people in 170 households in Chimanimani Zimbabwe, whose homes were destroyed by Cyclone Idai in March, are still living in tents as the rainy season approaches. If given housing stands, money or materials, the people said they were prepared to start building their own homes.

But they are now in panic mode, although the provincial administration says semi-permanent structures, better than tents, should be ready soon.

Cyclone Idai, one of the most destructive Indian Ocean cyclones on record, smashed into Chimanimani and Chipinge districts, killing many, leaving hundreds homeless and destroying infrastructure worth US$1 billion.

Rapid and immediate aid from the Government and private sources ensured the homeless were given tents in camps, along with emergency supplies.

New homes were planned, if necessary, on new and less dangerous sites in the district, but building has been slow since repairs to roads and bridges had to come first.

The Herald visited Ngangu last week and spoke to the victims.

Ngangu is in Chimanimani East and is one of the areas that were most affected by Cyclone Idai.

Statistics show that there are 170 households in camps at Arboretum, Nyamatanda and Garikai.

Nyamatanda Camp has 30 households, totalling 119 people.

Garikai has 83 households totalling 352 people with 471 in these two camps alone. Assuming the rest of the tented camps have similar sized households, there are more than 700 people still needing new homes.

The cyclone victims were recently given additional tents to augment the initial emergency allocation.

Some victims suggested relocation to nearby villages.