Families need help after Cyclone Idai struck eastern Zimbabwe. Mercy Corps is working urgently to reach communities with food, clean water, sanitation and hygiene supplies.Donate now
Our response to Cyclone Idai
Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in mid March with reported deaths of hundreds of people across southern Africa, with thousands more affected. We're responding in Zimbabwe, where this is the first cyclone to hit the country in over a decade.
"Yesterday Mercy Corps reached more than 1,600 people in Chipinge district, Manicaland province, with emergency water, hygiene and sanitation supplies. In the aftermath of a natural disaster of this scale, we know we must do everything we can to prevent the spread of disease and more deaths," says Mildred Makore, Mercy Corps Director of Programmes in Zimbabwe.
"Our teams are still striving to reach Chimanimani, which is the district most cut off from relief efforts. There is no power, and hospitals have run out of fuel to operate backup generators. Time is of the essence as we race to reach people affected.
"Manicaland province is dominated by rugged mountains so getting to affected communities is not straightforward. With bridges destroyed, we have to rely on air support to transport our urgent relief the final mile.”
Zimbabwe struggles with severe unemployment, diminishing access to health and education services and a steady decline in purchasing power. Once the breadbasket of southern Africa, it is now food-insecure and lacks the critical infrastructure and support mechanisms needed to help its most vulnerable citizens and stimulate economic growth.
- Agriculture & Food: Reducing dependence on food aid by providing training, lowering barriers to credit, and supporting market oriented community development approaches.
- Children & Youth: Supporting children with disabilities and reducing barriers to their participation in mainstream economic activities.
- Innovations: Using mobile technology to provide farmers with agronomic extension information, financial and market services.
- Water: Improving access to quality drinking water and sanitation services and environmental hygiene at community and household levels.
Zimbabwe: From the field: Our team reports on Cyclone Idai recovery in Zimbabwe
Several weeks after the disaster struck southern Africa, a member of our emergency response reflects on seeing continued need and the first signs of hope firsthand.
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Beauty Jokonya, a local farmer in Zimbabwe's Murehwa district, with bounty from her crop field — which, with help from Mercy Corps, she and her husband irrigate with a treadle pump.
Zimbabwe: Better living through treadle pumps
One of the greatest challenges that smallholder farmers face in Zimbabwe is how to irrigate bigger plots and get higher returns from their pieces of land.
Zimbabwe: VIDEO: Basic technology boosts incomes in Zimbabwe
On my first day in Zimbabwe, I went to visit some farm families in the town of Murejwa. People are poor there, and Mercy Corps is working with them to find ways to boost their incomes.