HARARE - The Zimbabwean government on Monday made an international appeal for $200 million to help its citizens who have been affected by widespread floods. Officials said since December, 271 people had died due to floods. The United Nations said it was important to quickly come into the country with medical aid and control infectious diseases that are spreading.
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko made a passionate plea to diplomats and United Nations agencies in the southern African country to help people who have been affected by the floods.
“The amount of destruction that has been caused by the good rains, it is good rains, it is good on the other side, the other results are terrible. All we are saying to you: give hand to our people," said Mphoko. "The destruction is so massive; schools have been destroyed, bridges, roads destroyed, lives, quite a number of people have died, 271, and quite a number of diseases are coming up. We are appealing for your assistance.”
Worse floods in 35 years
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said his country was affected by floods that struck all of southern Africa. Bishow Parajuli, the United Nations resident coordinator in Zimbabwe, says he has been to some of the flood-affected areas and he was one of the diplomats Harare made a plea for assistance to on Monday.
“Sadly this flooding comes at the middle of a major drought, [the worst] Zimbabwe faced in 35 years, so it is the same people suffering with the drought and now facing the floods," he said. "This is very sad, while the same community was hoping to have a good harvest, thousands have been left homeless; they have faced this tremendous loss and suffering. What is really needed is rebuilding the lost individual housing and also supporting community regaining their livelihoods. We take note of the appeal; what is really critical at this stage is to prevent from some of the infectious diseases diarrhea etcetera which has started resulting in typhoid and in some areas, cholera.”
Last week, Zimbabwe said two people had died of cholera in one of the areas hit by floods on its eastern border with Mozambique. Zimbabwe declared a state of emergency in early March and launched an appeal for $100 million. Now Zimbabwe says it needs $200 million to fully recover from the floods.