Chimanimani, Zimbabwe — In this remote district of eastern Zimbabwe, Sr. Marceline Mudambo of the Carmelite Nuns made her way first by SUV and then on foot through logs and big stones in muddy roads to help deliver food, water and basic health services to flood victims after strong winds and torrential rains hit the region in mid-March.
"We need to save the lives of these people," said Mudambo, who doubles as the social communications coordinator for Mutare Diocese in eastern Zimbabwe. "We urgently need enough food for the victims as current hunger mitigation efforts are inadequate."
Mudambo is among dozens of women religious who are helping vulnerable families affected by recent Cyclone Idai, which swept through parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The devastation is worse than initially assessed, according to humanitarian aid agencies. The estimated death toll among the three nations is about 750, though hundreds are still missing and the danger of more dying from disease is rising.
"We are providing food rations to one hundred families with an average of six people per family every month starting now in order to alleviate hunger," Mudambo said. "We are also providing an assortment of basic food items that would provide a balanced diet to the victims."