JRS Cyclone Idai Emergency Response

20 March 2019

Flooding has had significant impacts at Tongogara refugee camp, where JRS serves displaced people.

Stated as one of the deadliest and massive weather events the Southern Hemisphere has ever faced, Cyclone Idai has ripped through parts of Southern Africa in the last week. The devastating storm has caused massive displacement and impacted refugees, including places where Jesuit Refugee Service is present.

JRS and other partners are on the ground providing support and responding to those in need.

In Zimbabwe, JRS is present at the Tongogara refugee camp. Located near Chipinge, Zimbabwe, the camp is home to more than 10,000 refugees, the majority of whom have fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cyclone Idai has caused massive damage in the camp, which sits in a low-lying area next to a river.

Fr. Welcome Chipiro, JRS staff member, describes it this way – “The windy rains were continuous from the 14th to the 17th of March 2019. More than 90 percent of the refugees stay in unburnt mud brick houses. Hence therefore this [storm] caused the mud houses, tuck shops, toilets, fowl runs and pigsties to be leveled to the ground. They collapsed one after the other depending on the strength of the muddy buildings.”

These families and individuals impacted have already suffered greatly, fleeing from their home countries in search of safety and security.

As we look to help rebuild and continue our work to accompany, serve, and advocate for beneficiaries, refugees, and asylum seekers in Tongogara Refugee Camp and throughout Southern Africa, we ask that you please consider a gift to Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.