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Emergency workers Under Severe Trauma

By Stephen Ephraem

Members of Chipinge Civil Protection Committee (CCPC) who took part in Tropical Cyclone Idai emergency work in Chipinge are under severe trauma with the second wave of another natural disaster, this paper reports.

The revelations came out during a meeting that was held on 29 December 2020 at District Development Coordinator (DDC)’s boardroom when an NGO; Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) presented its final report on Cyclone Idai response and resilience project.

During the meeting which was chaired by Administrator in the District Development Coordinator’s office Mr Tedious Beto saw members of the CCPC applaud REPSSI for helping them to recover while they are faced with yet another uncertain situation in days to come.

“It was so difficult to cope up with the destruction, injuries and death brought to the district by the tropical cyclone. As human beings, we were left traumatized. I admit that the psychosocial support that we received from REPSSI helped us to recover,” said Mr Raphael Zongoro of The Department of Social Welfare during his input.

In his contribution, the District Development Coordinator for Chipinge, Mr William Mashava revealed that social media reports which exaggerated issues also contributed to their trauma.

“The disaster was exaggerated on social media to the extent that as members of the civil protection committee we had a torrid moment to correct the lies which were peddled about the disaster. REPSSI came at the right time with emotional support,” said Mahsava.

The REPSSI report that was presented by Chipinge coordinator Gillian Mguni and REPSSI Projects Manager Johnson Fani Matenga indicated that the organization managed to support 21 women health groups which built resilience in more than 500 adolescent mothers.

The report further claims that 61 community leaders in Chipinge were trained to build safer communities and adopt the power of vision. Forty teachers were also trained on COVID 19.

REPSSI has since been encouraged by the committee to continue giving psychosocial support to the communities in Chipinge.

Currently the situation requires all partners hands on the deck and continue to support affected families and individuals so that they may overcome their past experience added Mashava