Tokwe Mukosi Disaster
Chingwizi Transit Camp where most of the flood victims are held
|Venue||Tokwe Mukosi Dam|
The Tokwe Mukosi flooding is a national disaster that occurred in February 2014 after the torrential rainfall pounded in the Masvingo Province . The flooding which caused the partial collapse of the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, rendered over 1 500 families homeless. The victims were relocated to temporary transit camps especially Chingwizi Transit Camp in Mwenezi.
Relief and Aid
With each family only being given 500g dried beans, 2 kg flour; 2 kg sugar; 2 litres cooking oil; 500g salt; a packet of candles, 1 kg kapenta expected to last them for a whole week, the victims were living in abject poverty especially when the average family has six children.
After the government declared the flooding a national disaster, work of relocating those affected villagers living downstream started. Around 4,500 villagers living along the flood basin of the dam were evacuated after water, escaping from cracks in the dam wall, flooded the river that flows directly towards the villages. An estimated 2,500 households who lived upstream of the Dam were displaced to Chingwizi, Chisase and Masangula Relocation sites of Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi District.
The flood victims were often affected by food shortages. The government and the door community were failing to avail an average of 123 tonnes of maize required monthly to feed them. The families each initially got 500g dried beans, 2 kg flour; 2 kg sugar; 2 litres cooking oil; 500g salt; a packet of candles, 1 kg kapenta. The food was supposedly to last them a week. Apart from food the place was said to be overcrowded and unhygienic punctuated with a lack of sanitary wear, drinking water and proper toilets.
Refusal of Permanent Settlements
In May 2014, some government officials visited the Chingwizi transit camp with the view of informing the flood victims that the state identified and had pegged permanent one-hectare plots for them. However this did not go down well with the dwellers who booed the ten ministers sent to talk to them claiming a breach of an initial agreement. The victims had earlier promised to be resettled on 4-hectare plots in addition to US$$4,000 each as compensation for their losses. Ironically they even refused to chant ZANU-PF slogans. All the ministers who included Ignatius Chombo and Dzikamai Mavhaire were all heckled at forcing them to abandon the meeting.
The Musical Concert and Donations
Zimbabwe's Green ambassador, Dereck Mpofu organised a concert that took place on the 9th of May 2014 at the 7 Arts Theatre in Harare to remember the flood victims. Running under the theme ‘Remembering Tokwe Mukosi One Environmental Family’ the show was organised to caution the public on environmental concerns in response to the flooding. Willis Wattafi of Afrika Revenge and Cynthia Mare performed at the gig. South African award winning musician Zahara also added flavour to the event. Tocky Vibes also composed a song for the people affected by the flooding. Other musicians such as Alick Macheso also visited the area with food donations.
Other musicians that recorded songs in solidarity with victims of the floods include Ras Caleb whose song Tokwe Mukosi became his most popular track and effectively made him a household name in Zimbabwe.
- Tichaon Sibanda, Last batch of villagers from Tokwe-Mukosi to be evacuated Saturday, 'SW Radio Africa', Published: 20 Feb 2014, Retrieved: 14 May 2014
- Roselyne Sachiti, Tokwe Mukosi: Tale of desolation, hope, 'Herald', Published: 26 Feb 2014, Retrieved: 13 May 2014
- Nomalanga Moyo, Zanu PF ministers booed out of Chingwizi camp, 'Nehanda Radio', Published: 13 May 2014, Retrieved: 13 May 2014
- ZAHARA TO PERFORM AT TOKWE MUKOSI CONCERT, 'Zimbo Jam Network', Published: 28 Mar 2014, Retrieved: 13 May 2014