In mid-March this year, parts of Manicaland, rich agricultural lands in eastern Zimbabwe, were devastated by Cyclone Idai.
The cyclone brought rain, flooding and landslides, but worse was the devastation as a dam burst its banks sending huge rocks, some over 10 tons, down the valley, destroying homes, crops and livelihoods.
The Diocese of Manicaland provided shelter in their schools and churches in the aftermath, bringing comfort to the bereaved, care for the injured, and food for those who had lost everything before the larger agencies came with support. The church has worked closely with other agencies to ensure the most vulnerable were not left out.
The cyclone has felt like the final straw breaking people who have already suffered so much. They have endured a long political crisis that led to an economic crisis with hyperinflation. In 2016 they were badly affected by drought. These resourceful people are feeling overwhelmed by this latest crisis. To support them the Mothers’ Union is planning trauma healing support.
distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
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But the church wants to do more. They are really concerned about the elderly and widows who are living in communal tents, often looking after orphans. The church would like to build them simple homes, away from the danger area. The government has offered land.
As a diocese, we will partner with The Diocese of Manicaland, who will provide cement, bricks and roofing sheets, which we will finance.
The community will then contribute local materials and their labour to construct homes for their needy neighbours. Each home will cost around £900 to build. We are aiming to generate funding for 20 family homes which gives us a target of £18,000.
Can you help these vulnerable people to have a dry home, safe from future storms?
Donations should be made payable to ‘The Bishop of Derby’s Harvest Appeal’ and sent to Mr Edward Latham, 64 Birkinstyle Lane, Shirland, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 6BS.