Refugees in Zimbabwean camp struggle after floods


The heavy rains that hit parts of Zimbabwe and killed 246 people this past winter, have left the only refugee camp in the country in squalid conditions.
Refugees painted a gloomy picture of the living conditions in the Tongogara camp, where more than 9,000 refugees are housed. However, over 150 mud huts collapsed due to floods and scores of families have been left homeless.
“Our houses collapsed due to floods and we are now staying in tents, we lost all our belongings and the help we are getting is not adequate,” said Abednego Amini, a 33-year-old from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Some refugees especially from Mozambique have received mattresses but some of us who were affected by the floods were not given anything,” complained Amini who has been in the camp for close to 10 years.
Run by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the camp, located in southeastern Zimbabwe, is surrounded by an electric fence to fend off wild animals. Pools of water could still be seen in several areas within the camp owing to the recent floods.
Emilia Songola, a widow from the DRC and a mother of five, appealed for manpower and building material to reconstruct her new home.
“I have been sleeping in the open for three months due to floods, I appeal for manpower and building material to reconstruct my new home considering I am now a widow,” she said.