The MDC Welfare Department just concluded a general tour of Hode, Hlabiso, Ngangu and Chimanimani villages to assess the post disaster situation in Chimanimani district.
Although aid agencies have embarked on road infrastructure rebuilding, road networks are still poor and inaccessible in most areas. Access to schools is still a challenge due to poor road networks and lack of infrastructure as most schools were destroyed by the floods. More effort and resources need to be channelled towards infrastructure such as schools and roads.
Many affected families still live in makeshift and insecure homes which continue to be affected by the rains. There is a critical need to provide permanent shelter solutions as people rebuild their homes and communities.
There are signs of improved access to water as water points are being repaired by international aid agencies. However, sanitation remains a critical need. Food security remains critical especially for children and the elderly who need welfare services.
Civil registration services are still required to make sure that all those who lost their identification documents secure new ones.
Politicisation of aid and farming inputs has seen known MDC supporters who have critical needs being deprived. Some of the community members reported that government Ministers who include Perence Shiri had visited the community and politicised the crisis by threatening MDC supporters and denigrating President Chamisa; the net effect of their political message was that known MDC members became targeted and excluded when farming inputs were being distributed.
MDC Welfare is gravely concerned by Zanu PF’s attempts to abuse a humanitarian crisis for political expediency.
The MDC Welfare is also concerned by the government’s conspicuous absence in areas where its critical services are required by the people.
MDC Welfare commends the work that is being done by international development agencies in the post disaster phase and makes an appeal for more funds to be directed towards permanent shelter solutions.
The crisis in Chimanimani has been worsened by the fact that it is happening in an already fragile economic environment and while efforts are made to build long term capacity of villages to withstand future climate shock, equal effort must be put towards resolving the political and economic crisis bedeviling the country.
Secretary for Public Service and Social Welfare
Movement for Democratic Change