By Nokuthaba Nkomo
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has started a brick campaign to help Cyclone Idai victims rebuild their homes after they were swept away by floods recently.
This comes as the country is reeling from the devastation wreaked by Cyclone Idai which left over 300 people dead.
The cyclone has destroyed infrastructure including bridges, schools, roads and homes leaving over 200 000 people in parts of Manicaland and Masvingo provinces homeless.
ZimRights executive director Okay Machisa, pictured, said while the organisation has donated clothes and food towards Cyclone Idai victims, they have also realised that these people need roofs over their heads.
Machisa said they are targeting to raise one million bricks through donations as they aim to assist one thousand families.
“We’ve taken to fulfil one of our core values which is sympathy. We have an obligation to fill the gap and help those affected by the cyclone. We want to assist them in building structures through our #1millionbricks4life campaign.
“We want to mobilise our members to donate common bricks towards assisting victims build homes. Huts in rural areas are built using 1 000 bricks so we are hoping to assist 1 000 families,” Machisa said.
The ZimRights executive director said they will also be partnering with other organisations and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) in this initiative and are also calling upon citizens to donate as well.
Meanwhile, the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) has pledged to construct temporary infrastructure for accessibility to areas affected by Cyclone Idai.
In a statement, the bank said it will also rehabilitate medical facilities, restore power and water and sanitation infrastructure as well as roads and bridge construction.
The IDBZ management team has reportedly requested its board to approve an allocation of RTGS$2,50 million from the bank’s capital to assist Cyclone Idai victims.
The IDBZ support is expected to complement on-going efforts such as rehabilitation and reconstruction of institutional facilities and accommodation for example Charles Luwanga Secondary School, Dzingire Primary School etc.
“The bank will actively monitor the disbursement of funds and implementation to ensure teams already are channelled to the identified projects for the intended purpose,” IDBZ said.
Government has also channelled $50 million towards assisting the victims to restore infrastructure destroyed by the disaster.
On the other hand, Switzerland through the Swiss Humanitarian Aid has released $2 million to help victims of Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.
The funding will be used to restore safe drinking water and provide Swiss experts to UN agencies in the three affected countries.
Out of the aid package, $ 1 million will be used for Swiss Humanitarian Aid’s actions and the other half will be disbursed to various UN agencies responding to the effects of the disaster.
So far, 12 tonnes of relief goods have already been shipped to the affected areas with the first team that responded to the disaster.
The supplies consisted mainly of materials and tools for building shelter. A new consignment to the region will primarily consist of materials and equipment for restoring drinking water supplies, e.g. for cleaning wells.
Ambassador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe and Malawi,Niculin Jaeger said: “In the aftermath of the cyclone, we have come to terms with the scope and complexity of the challenges facing the governments and peoples of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. DailyNews