After Surviving Cyclone Idai, Displaced Zimbabweans Fend Off Coronavirus

MUTARE, ZIMBABWE — Before the coronavirus crisis, mornings were usually quiet at the Nyamatanda camp for internally displaced persons.

Children were off to school, while many adults sought piecework in the nearby town. Small tents studded the camp, some patched to protect the belongings of the families who called them home.

Nyamatanda is among a group of camps that house 200 families who lost almost everything to Cyclone Idai in 2019. More than a year later, the Zimbabwean government has not relocated them.

And the coronavirus has made this challenging situation more stressful — and dangerous.

Jani Mapise, 70, lives at Nyamatanda with his wife and seven children. They survived on aid from relief agencies, but those groups have pulled back. Now that Zimbabwe has enacted measures to combat the coronavirus, Mapise can’t even leave the camp to look for work.

“I am struggling to make ends meet, being stuck at the camp in our tent all day,” says Mapise, who used to help farmers weed and harvest in return for food and cash, which he added to the aid from nongovernmental organizations. Read full article here

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