Cyclone Idai has left a devastating trail of destruction leaving Zimbabweans shaken with heavy human and infrastructural losses. Despite the gloom left behind by the cyclone, it seems to have left a nation united in efforts to bring back normalcy and rally together. This a nation many have perceived to be divided.
The nation has shown a united front with people and corporates alike responding overwhelmingly to disaster relief efforts in the affected areas. Various pick up points had been set up to collect items such as clothing, food and blankets to assist victims of the storm. Government ministers, socialites, musicians and local celebrities have been using their influence to rally the public to gather the needed items. Individuals have not been hesitant to commit their own resources to the cause with private trucks being donated to ferry the goods. Churches and hotels in Chimanimani have been turned into a shelter for victims of the destruction.
A number of crowdfunds have also been set up, both at home and in the diaspora. One such fund set up by Cassava Smartech on its Ecocash platform had reached RTGS$100,000 by Tuesday afternoon. Many such funds have also been set-up in the diaspora in an effort to crowdfund for the disaster relief. Zimbabweans in South Africa, the United States and the world over have used social media as a way to connect and bring together all that is needed to help with the ongoing efforts. The efforts at
Leading the disaster relief and recovery effort in Zimbabwe is the army’s Special Forces, having been deployed to the affected areas. However, their brave efforts were still being affected by the inaccessibility of some areas and the rains which were making it difficult to fly on Monday night.
Zimbabwe has proven the power of what can be achieved when the nation rallies together for a common cause. It has proved that when united that the country can be in a mode to solve its own problems. It’s a great effort considering that many a time Africa outsources its problems to donors and the international community without taking a proactive approach to address these unliterally.
The cyclone has killed 98 people in Zimbabwe, an official said on Tuesday, while the death toll in Malawi from heavy rains and flooding stood at 56 as of last week. UN officials have said it is the probably the worst such disaster to hit Southern Africa. No new numbers had been released following the cyclone’s arrival in the country. The death toll is expected to continue to rise as more than 200 people are still reported missing. Mozambique’s President Felipe Nyusi said he had flown over some of the most affected areas and had spotted floating bodies in the affected regions, estimating that the death toll could reach as high as 1,000.
Image Credits: Al Jazeera