Early Recovery Programme for Cyclone Idai Survivors as ActionAid Deepens its Support

ActionAid Zimbabwe, in partnership with Jekesa Pfungwa Vuligqondo and Simukai Child Protection Programme, is introducing an early recovery programme for Cyclone Idai Survivors in Chimanimani and Chipinge as the organisation moves its response from immediate needs to mid- term. Reaching to over 5 000 people, ActionAid Zimbabwe is introducing interventions such as psychosocial support, and livelihoods programmes where the people assisted will receive agricultural seeds to plant. There will be construction of wooden cabins for shelter provisions, support on learning materials for school pupils and construction and rehabilitation of toilets in affected community schools. In addition, the programme will introduce supplementary feeding programme for children under five years, lactating and pregnant mothers.

“As we implement the early recovery programme we will emphasise on our humanitarian signature of promoting women leadership, protection and accountability during emergencies focusing on the full participation of women in all processes including amplifying their voices. “To promote women protection, the toilets to be constructed at community level will be lockable using screens to ensure their privacy and reduce potential incidences of women and girls experiencing sexual gender-based violence (SGBV),” said Peter Matimati, the ActionAid Zimbabwe focal person for the Women Led Emergency Programme.

Matimati added that the wooden shelters will help in ensuring supported women and girls are free from harm such as SGBV as lack of shelter exposes them to various forms of violence. He said the focus on women protection will also include creation of safe spaces for women and girls, provision of information on SGBV to these groups so that they know where to report SGBV and obtain legal support on SGBV related issues.

“The livelihoods programmes will promote resilience building for the affected community members and build them back better from where they were before Cyclone Idai,” said Matimati. Bertha Jambaya, the Director of Jekesa Pfungwa said: “The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai disaster affected women more than men, resulting in psychological trauma especially among women and young girls. The programmes on psychosocial support will thus go a long way in ensuring women recover, have hope in life and build their self-esteem.”

With funds from the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) in partnership with the ActionAid International Humanitarian Action Response Team (IHART), the programme is supported to the tune of GBP 250 000, running from April to September 2019.

In March 2019, ActionAid Zimbabwe responded to Cyclone Idai by providing food and non-food items worth about GBP 50 000 supported by IHART for the affected communities to meet their immediate needs. Some of the support included sanitary wear, towels and undergarments for women and girls, water buckets, pots and various food items such as beans, kapenta and cooking oil. The early recovery programme will also see the provision of con-soya blend targeting lactating mothers, pregnant women and children who are under five to prevent malnutrition.

Cyclone Idai was one of the worst natural disasters in recent years to hit Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi in March 2019. In Zimbabwe, according to government statistics, Cyclone Idai resulted in the death of 344 people, 347 missing and presumed dead and more 4 500 people displaced. A total of 270 000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, with women and children affected the most.

Source: ActionAid Zimbabwe

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