Zimbabwe: IOM Provides Permanent Housing for Flood Victims

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IOM dedicated 693 permanent housing units on May 13, built in partnership with the Civil Protection Unit of the Government of Zimbabwe, for victims of floods in the Country’s eastern, Chipinge District.

Nearly 700 families from four flood prone communities including Nyerere, Masimbe, Gumira and Muchayiyana, each received a two-roomed house at an official handover ceremony chaired by the Minister of Local Government and attended by Zimbabwe’s Housing and Social Amenities Minister, local authorities and IOM.

Zimbabwe’s low lying areas were devastated by floods in 2008 with the Chipinge district particularly hard hit, leaving hundreds of families without homes, sources of livelihood or access to basic social services. Through an IOM rapid assessment conducted in the aftermath, shelter was identified as the most urgent humanitarian need in the affected communities. In response, local authorities allocated land for relocation purposes. Working in close collaboration with the Governmental Civil Protection Unit, IOM’s Emergency Assistance Programme to Displaced Communities provided building materials and technical advice to support shelter reconstruction and new construction efforts for the vulnerable communities. Displaced families also participated in reconstruction efforts by mobilizing available material and providing labour.

“The 693 families benefiting from housing assistance in Chipinge represent a major step towards alleviating the housing need in the Chipinge province”, says IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Marcelo Pisani.

Funded by the Dutch and Swedish Governments, and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) the project will ensure that flood affected communities are protected from environmental hazards and have access to social services lost during the disaster. In addition to carrying out shelter activities, IOM has assisted the displaced communities through HIV awareness and Gender Based Violence Prevention activities. IOM also assisted local District Environmental Health Technicians in containing a cholera outbreak by providing medical supplies and transport assistance for a comprehensive health assessment of the affected communities.

Source: International Office of Migration (IOM)

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