Lovemore Chikova Assistant Editor
China has responded to Zimbabwe’s appeal for humanitarian assistance following floods that hit the country last month, by donating $1 million towards the cause.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping revealed the assistance yesterday, saying his country hoped to continue helping Zimbabwe in times of need.
Mr Huang made the announcement while speaking at the unveiling of a partnership deal between Willowvale Motor Industries and China’s Beijing Automobile International Corporation.
“We are going to help Zimbabwe tackle the Cyclone Dineo induced floods,” he said.
“We are going to provide relief for flood stricken areas in Zimbabwe. This year, the Chinese government will donate $1 million in cash transfer to Zimbabwe.
“This is the first time I am mentioning this.
“I was trying to call Minister (Saviour) Kasukuwere (Local Government, National Housing and Public Works) this morning, but could not reach him. He is the one in charge of this.”
Mr Huang said the Chinese Red Cross Society would also play its part by providing $50 000, while the Chinese Embassy and Chinese community will join hands to donate a further $10 000.
“In agricultural area, in order to help Zimbabwe tackle the El Nino-induced drought last year and promote agricultural development, China donated 20 000 metric tonnes of rice and 10 000 tonnes of urea to Zimbabwe,” he said.
“This year, the food aid would continue.”
Zimbabwe launched a $200 million domestic and international appeal for humanitarian assistance for victims of flooding caused by Cyclone Dineo recently.
The floods left a trail of destruction mainly in southern and western parts of the country.
Government said it was already raising $35 million for the same purpose and welcomed donors to chip in.
The launch of the appeal was done by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko at a function attended by several ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe, local business executives and senior Government officials.
The appeal followed the declaration of the floods by President Mugabe as a national disaster.
VP Mphoko said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will handle the funds from the donors to ensure transparency.
The heavy rains were accompanied by severe flooding and areas most affected were Matabeleland North (Tsholotsho, Lupane, Nkayi, Binga, Umguza and Hwange Urban), Matabeleland South (Matobo, Umzingwane, Bulilima, Insiza, Beitbridge and Gwanda), Midlands (Gokwe North, Gokwe and Mberengwa), Masvingo (Chivi, Mwenezi, Chiredzi, Masvingo Rural and Bikita), Mashonaland West (Kariba, Zvimba and Hurungwe, Manicaland (Mutare Rural, Mutasa, Buhera, Chipinge and Chimanimani), Mashonaland Central (Guruve and Mt Darwin), Chitungwiza and Mabvuku, Epworth, Waterfalls, Hopley and Budiriro in Harare Metropolitan province.
The worst affected district was Tsholotsho, where a total of 859 people were left homeless and are in a transit camp, but the heavy rains left 246 people dead throughout the country, and more than 100 others injured.
More than 1 985 people were left homeless and approximately 2 579 homesteads were damaged in varying degrees and there were extensive damages to infrastructure namely roads, bridges, schools, health institutions and dams.