Rebuilding Lives Amidst Uncertainty, Citizen’s Struggle after Cyclone Idai

By Staff Reporter

The aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Idai in 2019 left a trail of devastation in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe, claiming the lives of 341 people with 279 still missing.

For Takemore Mufuya, the cyclone not only took away her husband and six-year-old child but also shattered her home and dreams.

“My husband and my child were swept away by the floods, and up to now, they have not been accounted for,” Mufuya shared with a heavy heart.

The pain lingers as news of bodies found in Mozambique circulate, leaving her in limbo about the fate of her loved ones.

The once vibrant community of Chimanimani has been struggling to regain normalcy. Calls for programs to restore livelihoods echo through the region as residents grapple with the challenges of rebuilding their lives.

Unfortunately, for Mufuya, assistance has been thin, compounding the difficulties she faces.

“The house we used to rent was swept away by Cyclone Idai. I lost all the building materials I had bought for my own house, and there was no help or compensation after the disaster,” she lamented.

While some villagers received aid to rebuild, Mufuya only received asbestos from a local church after enduring life in a tent.

Her health bears the scars of the tragedy—both physically and mentally. High blood pressure and the strain of providing for her family amid the stress have become constant companions.

The road to recovery has been grueling for Mufuya, who, still nursing wounds from the floods, found herself doing menial jobs to make ends meet.

“I ventured into artisanal mining to raise money for school fees and provide for my family’s needs,” she shared, highlighting the lengths she had to go to survive.

Government food assistance, while sporadic, serves as a lifeline. Yet, the inconsistency leaves families like Mufuya’s facing uncertainty, sometimes going for two months without aid.

Mufuya’s plea is not for charity but for empowerment. “We cannot continue to be a charity case and only wait for aid,” she said

Her desire is for self-help projects that can provide sustainable solutions, allowing the community to rebuild and regain control over their lives.

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