Starvation and agony grips Zimbabweans rescued from Cyclone idai

Fears are growing of starvation in communities that have been cut off after winds and torrential rain smashed bridges and swamped or destroyed roads.

Yet this material loss is nothing compared to the gnawing absence of her teenage daughter, who was washed away in the raging tide.

At a relief centre, food has been too meagre.

“Do with the little that we have,” volunteer Daina Mandevhana told the hungry.

people have been told not to expect enough food.

According to a respondent:

“We were told we should not expect to eat until our tummies are full or complain saying ‘at my house I used to have my tea with milk’,” she said.

“This is the situation we have, and we should accept it.”

Some people on long-term treatment for conditions such as HIV have lost their medication and appealed for urgent supplies.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, after touring the area, said he had seen “unmitigated despair”.

Zimbabwe has declared a state of disaster and appealed for assistance. According to the UN, 200,000 people have been affected.

Crops and livestock have been destroyed, threatening enduring hunger and poverty for those who do survive.

“The villagers want food but we have limited means of getting in and out. Roads were damaged and bridges broken.”

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