More than 1000 families from the Cyclone Idai ravaged Chipinge and Chimanimani districts recently received food hampers, clothes and shoes from Rugare Community Relief Services (RUCORS), the charity arm of the Zion Christian Church led by Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi.
RUCORS delivered a total of 18 tonnes of goods to Chipinge and Chimanimani communities with only three tonnes going to Chipinge as it was less affected than Chimanimani.
The consignment to Chipinge and Chimanimani was RUCORS’ second donation to Cyclone Idai victims, having donated many goods for victims in Bikita, Zaka and Gutu on March 19.
The latest consignment of donations included maize meal, rice, sugar, cooking oil, soap, 20 bales of used clothes and three bales of second-hand shoes.
The three tonnes at Chipinge were handed over to the Civil Protection Unit (CPU).
The bulk of the goods were distributed to Ngangu, Machongwe and Rusitu Valley which were the worst affected. At Ngangu 586 families got food hampers, clothes and shoes. A total of seven tonnes of goods were distributed at Ngangu.
The programme at Machongwe and Rusitu Valley was coordinated by Chimanimani East Member of Parliament Joshua Sacco, who is also a senior ZCC leader in the area.
In Chipinge, Ward 15 councillor and Chipinge Urban vice chairperson Panganai Chirongera assisted with the distribution process.
RUCORS is a registered Private Voluntary Organisation dedicated to ending suffering, poverty and creating opportunity.
Bishop Mutendi, though not present when the donations were handed over, visited the area to assess the situation especially how church members in Chipinge and Chimanimani, were affected.
He also held church services and prayed for the congregants at Chipinge, Ngangu and Machongwe.
RUCORS spokesperson, Tafara Mbaya called upon relief agencies and government officials to prioritise the security and well-being of women and girls.
“Looking at what usually happens when disasters of this kind happen, we need to do more to protect women and girls. They become more vulnerable to diseases as well as physical and sexual violence.
“Disasters effect far-reaching changes in interpersonal relationships, such as increased aggressive methods of resolving conflict or strained communication between intimate partners. Disasters also increase stress levels due to housing changes, financial difficulties, and unemployment; all of which may contribute to increased rates of violence,” said Mbaya.
He said RUCORS was collecting and packing hygiene kits dubbed ‘dignity packs’ that contain female hygiene products as well as a whistle and in some cases torch for security.
“The contents include soap, underwear, sanitary pads, a sanitary cloth, a wrapping cloth, toothpaste, a razor, a plastic bucket and plastic cup,” Mbaya said.