By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
14 March 2014
A storm on Wednesday night ripped off roofs and blew away tents at a new transit camp set up for flood victims of the Tokwe-Mukosi dam.
The flood crisis for over 3,400 families in the area deepened as heavy rain and high winds lashed Chingwizi camp in Mwenezi, causing misery and leaving behind scenes of destruction. 10 people were injured, two of them seriously.
Admire Mashenjere from the Tokwe-Mukosi Rehabilitation and Resettlement Trust, told SW Radio Africa that flying metal sheets from roofs caused most of the injuries. He said two of the seriously injured victims were ferried to Chiredzi district hospital, suffering from deep cuts from the zinc roofing sheets.
‘Eight of the victims are being treated at the red cross tent that was set up when we were relocated from the Tokwe-Mukosi flood basin. Most other victims lost their donor supplied tents that were blown away and they still haven’t found them,’ Mashenjere said.
‘It was terrifying,’ said Mashenjere. ‘It sounded like a train was passing through the camp; it was so windy we expected somebody to be blown away.’
He confirmed news reports that organisations helping the flood victims were not amused that ZANU PF officials were claiming credit for most of the humanitarian work there.
‘Whenever there is a crisis, you always get such people who want to politicise the things for their benefit. But we know the government is getting help from foreign donors so ZANU PF should not bother coming here lying that about the source of the funds as we all know were its coming from,’ he added.
A South African based disaster relief charity, Gift of Givers has also come to the aid of the flood victims. The group will transport all its supplies from South Africa to the transit camps in Masvingo province and the distribution will be carried out personally by teams from the organisation.
Apart from sinking a borehole for drinking water purposes, the group will provide food, blankets, clothing, mattresses, towels, personal and environmental hygiene packs, water buckets and medical assistance to the relocated families.
Meanwhile it has also emerged that the Chingwizi area is full of mineral wealth, according to the Newsday newspaper. A government official told the paper that the place in rich in diamond deposits.
Vice-President Joice Mujuru was told of the diamond deposits last month when she visited the flood victims. The area had earlier been earmarked for Billy Rautenbach’s Green Fuels project.
The land was meant for expansion of his ethanol project. The controversial businessman gave conditions that the families can only stay put on the piece of land provided they agree to work for his ethanol project.