Through foreign embassies and nongovernmental organisations‚ Zimbabwe has appealed to the international community for $200m in aid as the country seeks to recover from damage caused by Cyclone Dineo.

Reports quoting government sources say about 2‚000 people were displaced‚ more than 250 died and infrastructure such as dams‚ bridges and roads were destroyed.

"The damage we experienced are the worst in the Sadc (Southern African Development Community) region. Schools and clinics have been affected‚" finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said after meeting foreign diplomats.

Chinamasa added that the government had been consumed with providing food‚ blankets and sanitation for flood victims in areas such as Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North‚ where camps had been set up.

UN country representative Bishow Parajuli said the top priority in Zimbabwe’s disaster management should be healthcare to deal with disease outbreaks after the floods.

"At this stage what’s important is to prevent infectious diseases, which have started resulting in typhoid; in some areas cholera‚" he said.

The financially constrained government only managed to raise $35m, and Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe has accused it of having misplaced priorities‚ hence the failure to contain the situation.

On Saturday last week‚ Sadc heads of states and ministers met in Mbabane for an extraordinary summit‚ where it was agreed that because of the natural disaster‚ the secretariat should speed up the operationalisation of the regional disaster preparedness and response fund.

TMG Digital

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