Cyclone Idai Kills 31, Displaces Many & Millions of Dollars in Damages

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Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Cyclone Idai has reportedly killed at least 31 people in Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts as it left a trail of distruction in its path worth millions of dollars. There are fears that the death toll could rise as data from remote parts of the region begin to become available.

In our previous article “Heavy Rains In Zimbabwe – Are You Safe?” we shared some tips on what to do during heavy rains. Please do read that article so that you are better prepared for these disasters and avoid unnecessary loss of life and property.

Uprooted trees, displaced rocks and damaged or swept away bridges are making it very difficult for help to reach the most affected areas. The government has deployed the army and the airforce to assist as part of the disaster recovery process in affected areas. Many organizations are joining in the efforts to assist the affected.

You’ve heard the saying, “Charity begins at home,” meaning a person’s first responsibility is for the needs of their own family and friends. A great need has arisen fellow Zimbabweans. Thousands of our fellow citizens have lost their homes. Many are missing and some have unfortunately died.

There is no better time to practice Ubuntu/ Unhu. I am because we are; A virtue centered on the belief that we are all connected. Driven by compassion and humanity. At a time where we are facing great economic challenges, the temptation is to harden our hearts and turn a blind eye. After all, we’re all struggling right? I was casually talking to someone on the road about the need to come together and help these victims and their response was, “…Zvinorwadza asi nditoriwo nenhamo dzangu saka pakaipa, (it’s painful/sad but I’ve got my own problems so it’s a tough situation).”

Women have been known to be compassionate so hearing this response from her got me thinking. Was she wrong? I don’t think so. She’s struggling to feed and clothe her own children. But is she incapable of stretching out her hand to help another fellow citizen? Absolutely not!

Desmond Tutu said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

Desmond Tutu

Everyone can give something no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. There are families that have LOST EVERYTHING! Do you have a pen? Give it. Some child in grade 7 needs to write when they settle back into school if there is still a school to go back to. Do you have a pair of socks? Give it! Some child is fighting off a cold and if their feet can be warm they may not get pneumonia. Do you have a baby blanket you no longer use? Give it! Some newborn is wrapped in a sack and old clothes. What about those mismatched cups and plates you’ve put at the back of the cupboard because the rest of the set broke over the years or that pot that’s now too small because your family has grown? Give give give…

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We need to come together as Zimbabweans and assist our brothers and sisters in the disaster affected regions. Everyone can help…

I urge you all to give something. I’m also appealing to those who are receiving donations – Please don’t take advantage of people’s kindness for your own gain. We’ve heard about donations being sold instead of reaching the intended destination. Don’t be that person! And don’t wait for others to help. If Everyone thinks Someone is doing what Anybody can and should do then Nobody will do anything.

As you think of how you can assist everyone affected think of the risks around Cyclone Idai that include trauma victims, deaths, waterborne and airborne diseases, pregnant women, diabetes patients etc…

Let’s help our fellow Zimbabweans in their time of great need. We have lost a great deal as a nation – Let’s rebuild together.

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