1.Update on the Cyclone Idai Disaster
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde July Moyo, once again, briefed Cabinet on the ongoing recovery programme in the cyclone-hit areas. The Minister informed Cabinet that a total of 1 654 internally displaced people are sheltered and receiving relief assistance at seven holding centres in Chimanimani and Chipinge. A total of 46 602 people comprising special groups, namely children, the elderly and the disabled have so far been given relief assistance.
Sixty-six out of a target of 236 volunteer counsellors on trauma care have gone through training and have been deployed to the severely affected wards in Chimanimani District. Regarding the rehabilitation of schools infrastructure, focus is now on the construction and repair of ablution facilities. Excavations for the construction of ablution facilities have been completed at nine schools, while significant quantities of building materials have already been moved to strategic sites.
Following the appeal by His Excellency the President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa, private companies have adopted 42 additional unfunded schools and have started the mobilisation of resources and procurement of materials.
Pertaining to road rehabilitation, Government, through the Department of Roads, has contacted private companies to carry out permanent reconstruction of the affected bridges and roads. Government is particularly grateful to the People’s Republic of China, which has tasked six Chinese companies operating locally to undertake the repair of roads, drill boreholes, rehabilitate power infrastructure, provide mobile hospitals, build houses and communication networks in the cyclone-affected areas.
The companies will utilise their own financial resources and be reimbursed by the Chinese government. Work on the rehabilitation of damaged irrigation infrastructure and water supply stations is progressing well, while farmers with damaged tobacco barns are to be assisted to rehabilitate the facilities through the provision of concessionary loans.
So far, 339 080 people in the Chimanimani and Chipinge areas have been covered under the oral cholera vaccination campaign, constituting 71,6 percent of the intended target. Spatial planning works are continuing at Nhedziwa Growth Point, Lindley Farm and Greenmount in Chimanimani Urban as well as Ward 8 of Nyanyadzi in Chimanimani. The UNHCR has made a commitment to fund the replacement of documents for people affected by the cyclone. Once again, Cabinet wishes to thank all Zimbabweans and our international partners for their continuing support to victims of the Cyclone Idai disaster and the ongoing recovery effort.
2. 2019 Tobacco Marketing Season
Cabinet received an update from the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement on the 2019 tobacco marketing season which commenced on March 20, 2019.Thirty-one contractors and 36 auction floor buyers had been licenced to operate. There has been a gradual increase in daily deliveries at most selling points. Prices are expected to firm up after the Easter holidays.
3. International Chromium Development Conference
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development briefed Cabinet on the International Chromium Development Conference due to be hosted by Zimbabwe on May 8, 2019 under the auspices of the International Chromium Development Association (ICDA). The conference, which is due to be held at the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls Town, will attract more than 200 international delegates from mining and related sectors.
The decision by the ICDA for Zimbabwe to host this prestigious conference underscores Zimbabwe’s rising importance in the chromium industry. The event will provide a great opportunity for promotion of the country’s rich mineral resource endowment thereby attracting investment inflows into this very important sector.