Tropical Cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones to hit the African continent since the days of the day Tsunami. Around 270, 000 were affected by Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe and the estimated damage amounts to US$622 million and the rebuilding exercise requires up to US$1,1 billion.
The cyclone devastated Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe leaving more than 1300 people dead, almost 1.5 million people were affected by the subsequent flooding and destruction. The most affected mountainous district of Chimanimani is real an eyesore because of the scarred mountains, damaged bridges and roads. Idai also culminated in severe drought.
According to a World Bank report, Schools and health facilities reopened with inadequate infrastructure and resources in an endeavour for normality in the mountainous region.
“The destruction was beyond our wildest imagination as we could not have foretold the magnitude of the cyclone that saw water defying mountains resulting in mudslides, in only three days, 600 millimetres (mm) of rain was received,” recalled Edgars Seenza, Acting Provincial Development Coordinator for Manicaland according to ZBC.
Chimanimani area, Manicaland province normally receives between 200 and 250mm of rain but during the three calamitous days in March 2019 more than 600millimeters of rain was received in the district.
The ruinous cyclone damaged infrastructure, properties, crops and livestock. It is estimated that to “build back better” requires up to 1.1 billion dollars.
As the recovery is underway, new initiatives and financial resources are needed to reclaim livelihoods, rebuild infrastructure and ensure that a similar disaster never has the same damaging consequences.
In response to developmental help required by the most affected communities, the World Bank approved an exceptional allocation of $72 million to the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP), which aims to “address the early and medium-term resilient disaster recovery needs of cyclone-affected people.”
ZIRP became effective in July and was formally launched in Harare on September 2, 2019.