July 28, 2019

Idai survivors still getting counselling

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Leroy Dzenga

It is now four months since Cyclone Idai swept parts of Zimbabwe’s Manicaland and Masvingo provinces and much of relief efforts at the moment are being directed towards restoring the lives of victims.

While most of the cyclone victims are recovering many need counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. For some the scale of their loss was so great that they are still grieving. Children lost one or both parents, others witnessed family members and loved ones washed away by the violent floods.

Amid the devastation which left hundreds dead, scores injured and thousands displaced many of the victims need psychological care.

The Zimbabwean Government says those who endured traumatic experiences during and after the floods are being provided with counselling.

In an interview with ZTN news, Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Civil Protection and Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing July Moyo said the counselling is still ongoing.

“When Cyclone Idai happened, we saw that there was need to have counselling services and made arrangements for their provision. We were happy to receive volunteers from churches, civil society and Government departments like the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (who have special psychologists) to assist,” Minister Moyo said.

Minister Moyo said there is a strategic need to administer counselling services.

“We trained all of the counsellors on a standard approach so the service they provide to the survivors are the same. The processes are still ongoing, our teams are regularly visiting affected areas and offering support.

“We understand the importance of psycho-social support and we are not going to withdraw those services anytime soon,” Minister Moyo said.

Zimbabwe Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo (right) and US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols at the handover of the US$4,7 million donation towards Cyclone Idai in Harare — Picture by Justin Mutenda

Minister Moyo was speaking on the side lines of the official handover of an additional US$4.7 million fund by the US government to assist Cyclone Idai survivors in Chimanimani and Chipinge on Tuesday in the capital.

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