Govt launches emergency plan to rescue Cyclone Idai victims

The Government has initiated an Emergency Response Plan to rehabilitate damaged roads and enable accessibility to stranded victims of Cyclone Idai in Manicaland.

The Cyclone has already claimed 89 lives so far, with the government saying the figure is likely to go up.

Rescue efforts in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts have been hampered by damaged bridges and roads, as they were cut off from the rest of the country.

This left some survivors clinging on mountain tops awaiting intervention.

The government’s emergency response plan comes after authorities have received criticism for failing to come up with disaster risk reduction strategies to mitigate losses that have been seen in the Eastern Highlands.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Development, Joel Biggie Matiza, Monday, said his ministry was leading the emergency response plan and contractors were already on site.

“Currently we have implemented an Emergency Response Plan which I am overseeing, that is aimed at opening up washed away roads and repairing bridges to enable accessibility in Chimanimani in the shortest time possible. Contractors are on the ground as we speak,” he said.

Chimanimani, which is next to the Mozambique border, felt the brunt of the tropical storm that caused floods, landslides as well as destroying crops and plantations.

As have been witnessed from the cyclone effects, disasters are gateways to poverty and distress for many vulnerable people who now will rely on donation and aid for survival, prompting calls for disaster reduction strategies to cut economic losses.

Cyclone Idai is reminiscent of Cyclone Eline which occurred in February 2000 that ravaged the southern part of the country

Meanwhile, the national broadcaster reported a team of ministers was on its way to assess the damages in Chimanimani.


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