Just as our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 22 vs. 39 “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”, Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa have always preached a gospel of love and compassion for others and they made a commitment to put this scripture into action by pioneering a mission of calling people to join hands in support and love towards the victims of Cyclone Idai with the hashtag “Love In Action”.
According to UN reports as of 18 March 2019, at least 82 deaths and over 200 injuries had been reported, mainly in Chimanimani, and 217 people are reportedly missing. Chimanimani mortuary was reportedly full. At least 923 homes were destroyed in Chimanimani, Mutasa, Mutare, Chipinge, Buhera, Chikomba, Gutu and Bikita districts. In Chimanimani alone, eight bridges were destroyed (unoacha.org).
From the 18th of March, UFIC, Agape Family Care partners and well-wishers thronged the Agape Family Care offices with donations in response to the call to action that was made by the servants of God; Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa. People came from within Harare and outside of Harare as they expressed their love and compassion to the affected victims of Cyclone Idai in the forms of goods which varied from clothes and blankets to medical supplies which complemented the Agape Family Care Emergency Preparedness Stock.
On the 21st of March 2019, the UFIC and Agape Family Care team officially handed over the donation to the Department of Civil Protection in Zimbabwe at the Government Complex in Mutare CBD and the donation was received by the Minister of Defense; Honourable Oppah Muchinguri – Kashiri and the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Manicaland; Honourable Ellen Gwaradzimba.
The donation included 558 bales of clothing, 10 tons of mealie-meal and wheat, 643 blankets and bed covers, assorted medical supplies and sanitary ware, detergents, 160 bars of laundry soap, exercise books, bath soaps among others goods and all this valued at $107 000 USD.
Effects of Cyclone IDAI
The UN reported that as of 21 March 2019, at least 139 deaths have been reported and 189 people are reportedly missing in Zimbabwe following flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai’s trajectory, according to the Ministry for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting. A further 136 people are reportedly marooned, while more than 4,300 people are displaced, according to the Government. The death toll is expected to rise as areas previously cut-off become reachable by road and the full extent of the damage becomes known.
In Chimanimani and Chipinge districts, at least half of the total population has been impacted, according to the preliminary findings of an inter-sector assessment mission which confirmed significant damage. The districts of Buhera, Bikita, Chikomba, Gutu, Mutasa and Mutare also sustained damage and many people have reportedly been displaced. At least 16,000 households have been displaced in Chimanimani (8,000), Mutare (4,000), Chipinge (3,000) and Buhera (1,000), according to the government.
Crops and livestock were destroyed in all affected areas, which were already facing rising food insecurity. Both Chimanimani and Chipinge were classified in Crisis (IPC phase 3) and Buhera was facing Emergency food insecurity (IPC phase 4) prior to this new loss of crops caused by the Cyclone Idai weather system.
Located close to Chipinge, Tongagora refugee camp —which houses over 12,000 people—was affected by flooding. Some 1,100 shelters for 3,209 households were completely or partially destroyed. Four out of five boreholes that supply the camp are out of commission due to power outages. Only one solar powered borehole is supplying water to the camp. More than 600 latrines in the camp have been destroyed (reliefweb.int).
“We have so many people who died due to Cyclone Idai. Some people’s bodies were washed away by the floods into Mozambique. Many are still missing and we are still searching for them. Some lost their homes and at the moment they were left with nothing.” Honourable Oppah Muchinguri – Kashiri narrated during the hand-over ceremony of the UFIC-AFC donation.
So many people in the affected areas In Manicaland province were in need of help as they had been befallen by unexpected tragedy.
Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa Rise Up to the Need
In the early hours of Monday, 18 March 2019, Ruth Makandiwa, who is the founder and chairperson of Agape Family Care personally made sure that, a relief aid implementation strategy had been put in place towards the cause as she called for an emergency meeting with the Agape Family Care Team.
Her charity organization; AFC always keeps in stock an Emergency Preparedness Stock for natural disasters like Cyclone Idai but due to the magnitude of the situation that was in Manicaland Province, Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa called out for partners and well-wishers to complement the AFC Emergency Preparedness Stock.
After the official statement was released on Monday 18 March 2019, people responded to the call that was made by Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa to donate towards Cyclone Idai victims and in a space of two days, the donations that were gathered, including the Agape Family Care Emergency Preparedness Stock were enough to fill a 30-tonne haulage truck. In less than 24 hours, a team of volunteers packed the donations into sizeable portions for easy distribution.
Out of a genuine altruistic concern for the victims of Cyclone Idai which was inspired by the love of God; Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa selflessly gave themselves to be a light of hope and compassion and drew thousands of people from all over Zimbabwe to join hands and share the love of God with those in need.
“The task that we have is so huge because we have so many people that were affected by Cyclone IDAI. So many people lost their homes and they were left with nothing. So we are very grateful for the help that Prophetess Ruth Makandiwa has brought to this area.” Honourable Muchinguri – Kashiri said during the hand-over ceremony.
Honourable Muchinguri Kashiri added that as the country looks up for help from other countries, the commendable work that had been done by Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa and the people who partnered with them demonstrated that local charity organizations like Agape Family Care have the capability of donating to its own people at such a huge scale.
After the official hand-over ceremony, the donations were taken to Wengezi; 60 kilometres from Mutare City for further distribution.