THE Zimbabwean government needs $3 million between now and next May to take care of the Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims currently resettled at Chingwizi camp in the Nuanetsi Ranch.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said starting next month, the government would care for the victims as non-governmental and humanitarian organisations were expected to leave Chingwizi at the end of this month.
Bhasikiti revealed this in Masvingo on Wednesday after receiving clothes, soap and sanitary wear worth thousands of dollars from ZimRights and Batanai HIV and Aids Service Organisation (Bhaso), an HIV family support organisation.
The donated goods were raised from the Soap and Shirt Donation Winter Festival held in June by ZimRights in partnership with Design House, Heal Zimbabwe Trust, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, The Women’s Trust, Bhaso and Still Waters to support flood victims in Chingwizi, Tsholotsho and Muzarabani.
“As government, we will starting from next week to take over in assisting the families until May next year when they receive their first harvest,” Bhasikiti said.
Since February this year when over 3 400 families were displaced by the Tokwe-Mukosi floods, humanitarian organisations have been playing a pivotal role in feeding and clothing the flood victims, apart from providing other basic needs.
Bhasikiti said the government needed 156 000 tonnes of mealie-meal per month. He said close to $500 000 was needed every month until May next year for the upkeep of over 18 000 people displaced by the floods.
Although still appealing for support from NGOs and well-wishers, Bhasikiti said the government has already set out plans to buy maize from the Grain Marketing Board.
“We are still open for support from those who wish to help. Several things particularly social amenities still need to be set up. At the moment an exam centre has been set at the permanent site for Grade 7 pupils and classrooms have been built by the Chamber of Mines,” he said.
This was contrary to reports that Grade 7 pupils would write exams under trees. School pupils were also reported to be walking long distances to schools where they would learn under trees.
The Provincial Affairs minister dismissed reports that most of the families have gone back to the Tokwe-Mukosi flood basin after police violently clashed with villagers resisting relocation without government compensation.
He said only 140 families have gone back to their previous homes.
“Reports that other people have left is not very accurate. Only 140 families whom we lifted have gone back because their homes were in the buffer zone. These were not the critical people who had been moved,” Bhasikiti said.
Bhasikiti said only those families in buffer zones earmarked for a game park returned to their previous homes and they would not be threatened by floods.
ZimRights director Okay Machisa said: “We believe Zimbabwe is made up of philanthropists in their own right. As ZimRights we have only coordinated the contributions from well-wishers. We would like to thank all those who assisted.” – Newsday/ZimDiaspora.