MUTARE- A promise for better living conditions for families from the Cyclone Idai ravaged Chimanimani district, who have been living in tents after their homes were destroyed, has been guaranteed after one of the largest cement manufacturer Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) last week donated 36 tonnes of cement towards the rebuilding of the destroyed homes.
The cement valued at US$15 000 is, according to PPC, part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.
PPC head of sales and marketing, Nkosana Mapuma, said the cement producer is committed to helping the people of Zimbabwe and they have targeted the Chimanimani area as it is still struggling to rebuild from the Cyclone Idai disaster.
“We learnt with a lot of disappointment that a lot of people who had pledged to contribute in the rehabilitation failed to keep their promises. We had to provide the basic human need for the Cyclone Idai affected people which is housing.
“After interactions with the local government ministry and certain esteemed government officials, we were advised that housing was a matter of urgency hence the donation of 1 800 bags of cement to kick start the rehabilitation process.
“This is the first phase of donations and more are coming after we make an assessment of the first phase," said Mapuma.
Mapuma encouraged more players to come on board and join hands with PPC to play an active role in the rehabilitation programmes saying it was a matter of urgency in the face of the ravaging pandemic.
"We felt that rehabilitation must be conducted now with urgency. It really pains us that during this Covid-19 pandemic, there are people who do not have a roof over their heads," said Mapuma.
Manicaland Provincial Development Coordinator, Edgars Seenza, expressed gratitude to PPC's donation saying many failed to walk the talk in their bid to donate.
“I'm grateful that PPC have lived up to their promise after making arrangements with the ministry of local government. We have a number of well wishers who had promised to assist the displaced people however they have not fulfilled their promises,” said Seenza.
Cyclone Idai, one of Southern Africa's worst nightmares, displaced thousands in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique in March of 2018.
The calamity devastated infrastructure and claimed the lives of many people and animals.According to the Department of Civil Protection, there are about 30 000 people from Cyclone Idai affected areas, who are staying in tents.
PPC has also rehabilitated a number of Hospitals in Bulawayo, Gwanda and recently Chitungwiza Hospital.