October 15, 2019
By Janice Biehn
PWRDF is partnering with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and TSURO Trust in Zimbabwe to make a world of difference in the lives of approximately 28,900 people in Zimbabwe still reeling from the affects of Cyclone Idai.
In four wards of Chimanimani district, one of the worst affected by Cyclone Idai, 4,910 families will receive a one-time package of 10 kg maize seed, 15 kg bean seed and 2 kg finger millet seed. The seeds will be distributed in time for planting in October to December 2019 to help re-establish agricultural livelihoods.
PWRDF is contributing $26,000 from fund donated to Cyclone Idai relief, as well as $59,000 from its Foodgrains Bank equity. A 4:1 match from Global Affairs Canada will make up the entire budget of $404,471. “We are grateful for our partnership with CFGB and with TSURO in Zimbabwe,” says Executive Director Will Postma. “They have worked hard on the project. We are glad to be of support too to communities so tragically affected by Cyclone Idai, still today.”
Given the current food insecurity in the district, affected households in these wards will also be receiving food assistance from other agencies in the form of cash or food transfers. Households participating in the seed distribution must:
- be food insecure
- have crops that were affected by the cyclone
- have sufficient land to utilize the full seed package
- have prior experience growing maize, beans and finger millet
- and are targeted to also receive food or cash assistance from other agencies
Cyclone Idai hit eastern Zimbabwe with heavy rains and strong winds on March 15, 2019. The storm caused rivers to rise and flash flooding and subsequent deaths, destruction of property and livelihoods. Across Chimanimani district, 52% of all seed stocks were lost and farmers need assistance to jump-start agricultural recovery, regain their productive capacity and to restore food and nutritional security.
The Civil Protection Unit-Chimanimani estimates the cyclone affected 270,000 people in the district. According to the Department of Agriculture and Extension, 18,244 out of 39,789 hectares of arable land in Chimanimani district were damaged by the cyclone. Chimanimani district is projected to be at Integrated Food Security Phase Classication level 3 for October to December 2019.