* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
ShelterBox has sent enough tents to shelter 800 families in Zimbabwe that have been forced from their homes due to flooding in Masvingo Province.
The families had been living along the river basin near the partially constructed Tokwe Murkosi dam until last February. Incessant rains, rare during that time of year, created fears that the dam was going to overflow. Instead, the river caused severe flooding that damaged thousands of homes positioned along it.
At the time, ShelterBox was in the region responding to this disaster, assessing the need for emergency shelter with International Organization for Migration (IOM), who is leading the humanitarian response. ‘At the time there was no need for ShelterBox to provide shelter,’ said ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Phil Wheeler, who was part of the team that was in Zimbabwe in February and has now returned. ‘But now IOM has requested ShelterBox disaster relief tents to help hundreds of families who have been living at Chingwizi camp with no roof over their heads.’
The tents arrived at the camp on Monday and will be set up throughout this week.
‘Safe and together’
‘We will be working with IOM, who is managing the camp, to set up the tents as quickly as possible,’ added SRT member Sharon Donald who is leading the team. ‘We will be selecting a workforce from the displaced communities, providing them with a livelihood and equipping them with the knowledge of how to set up their new shelters and look after them. We will begin training today and the tents will start to be set up this week, enabling these families to be safe and together.’
Meanwhile dam levels across Zimbabwe have increased during the course of this month making the chances of flooding in the flood prone area high until the end of the rainy season in April.