AFRICA/ZIMBABWE - Thousands of people displaced due to the collapse of a dam; the Church’s appeal

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Harare (Agenzia Fides) - The Diocese of Masvingo in the south-west of Zimbabwe has launched an appeal to help thousands of people who have lost homes, land and cattle after the partial collapse of the Tokwe - Mukosi dam, due to last Friday’s incessant rains. Some of the homeless were transported by helicopters of the Air Force of Zimbabwe and Namibia, the others were welcomed in the camp in Chingwizi. "The conditions in the makeshift camp of Chingwizi are sub-human", said Fr. Peter Chimombe, head of the social communications of the Diocese of Masvingo to "New Zimbabwe" newspaper. "The people who are being welcomed in the camp seem refugees in a war situation", he added.
"The main problem that these people face is psychological.
Flood victims are waiting to be transferred to other places and you cannot do anything but wait", said the priest, who points out that the long wait is sowing anger and frustration. "People are angry and even blame God who allowed the disaster to happen". The desperation of the displaced is ultimately compounded by poor hygienic conditions (lack of drinking water and latrines) as well as by looters who plundered the few possessions they left behind. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/04/2014)