TWO years after they were banned by former Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke for allegedly pushing an anti-Zanu PF agenda, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have turned a blind eye to victims of the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam floods, a government official has conceded.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said NGOs had done nothing so far besides making promises to assist.
Speaking during a donation of tents by Murowa Diamonds as well as food and clothing from the Zion Christian Church and Nyaradzo Funeral Services yesterday, Bhasikiti said most NGOs “just made promises” while the humanitarian situation at Chingwizi camp where the flood victims were moved remained critical.
“Many NGOs just promised to help while a few others have chipped in . . . We are expecting them to assist us,” he said.
“We are yet to see their intervention and we expect more from them. We appeal to NGOs to assist us. The situation is still problematic. We still face a shortage of tents and need 16 000 extra tents.
“We only have 3 065 which were donated. We also need zinc iron sheets to set up a satellite school as well as cement and irrigation infrastructure.”
A health time bomb is looming as water shortages persist at Chingwizi camp where 1 500 families have been moved.
Only two boreholes have been sunk at the camp while more water is provided in bowsers and tankers that have to drive 60km.
“The water situation remains problematic. We only sank two boreholes and they cannot cater for the population, so are fetching water 60km away and we put them in tanks transported by trucks,” said Bhasikiti.
While no official comment could be obtained from the umbrella body for NGOS, the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, an employee blamed the issue on the global financial crisis that has seen most funders cutting aid and shifting their focus to other parts of the world.
Former governor Maluleke caused an international storm in 2012 when he barred several NGOS in the province accusing them of sympathising with the MDC-T.
However, his successor Bhasikiti made a major policy climbdown and lifted the ban this year saying the new Zanu PF government could not walk alone.