US$2m boost for post-Cyclone Idai restoration

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Cynthia Chitombi

Zimbabwe has received a US$2m grant to help in its efforts to re-build infrastructure destroyed by Cyclone Idai in March last year.

The funds from China under the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF) are expected to help government rebuild infrastructure which was destroyed by Cyclone Idai which affected most parts of Chimanimani and Chipinge in Manicaland.

An estimated 50 000 households, 12 health facilities and 143 schools were damaged or swept away by Cyclone Idai.

The grant is being implemented under the just launched Post Disaster Restoration Assistance after Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe project and will assist affected communities in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

The UNDP and its partners are looking to provide roofing repairs and materials to 237 households 7 clinics and 8 clinic staff houses, 66 toilets for 46 schools in Chimanimani and 30 schools

Through a private, public and community partnership, 60 local community semi-skilled builders, carpenters and general workers will be recruited for the initiative to ensure community participation and sustainable delivery of the project.

Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo hailed the initiative as government was struggling with the residual effects of Cyclone Idai.

“The intervention by the People’s Republic of China through UNDP China has made it possible for the Government of Zimbabwe to move from emergency relief to recovery.

“The project has the positive effect of stretching our meagre resources as it is specifically designed to provide the needed roofing materials to community housing and selected health and education facilities in the twin districts of Chimanimani and Chipinge,” he said.

UNDP resident representative Georges van Mantfort said the project would also ensure employment creation for the affected communities.

At least 60 local community builders, carpenters and several community general workers are set to be employed in the initiative.

“This project arises from the need to address the impact of Cyclone Idai to infrastructure in affected communities and the need to rebuild critical structures such as clinics, schools and houses,” van Montfort said.

The Cyclone Idai recovery project is the first partnership between the Chinese government and UNDP Zimbabwe.

Chinese envoy to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Shaochun Guo said their co-operation with the UNDP Zimbabwe will continue to provide assistance.

The project is being implemented over a 12-month period through a multi-stakeholder partnership of UN Agencies, government, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and local communities.

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