The Japanese government through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNICEF have responded to government’s appeal for humanitarian assistance following the Cyclone Dineo-induced floods which killed more than 200 people and left others homeless.

The Japanese government presented a consignment of 500 tents, 800 water cans, 40 cases of water purifiers and 40 cases of tarpaulins to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.

The presentation ceremony of part of the support consignment from the Japanese government was held at the cargo section of the Harare International Airport in Harare this Monday.

Also present at the brief ceremony were Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Yoshi Hiraishi, UNICEF resident representative Dr Ayoya, UN resident representative Mr Bishow Parajuli, JICA representative Mr Shumon Yoshiara and the acting director of the Civil Protection Department Ms Sibusisiwe Ndhlovu.

In his address at the occasion, Minister Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe must draw lessons from Japans’ experiences with calamities which the Asian country experienced such as nuclear accidents and earthquakes where Japan managed to cope in a remarkable way.

He thanked UNICEF for the timely intervention for arranging and meeting the logistical costs of distribution. UNICEF is working with government in providing medicines and clean water to communities affected by floods.

The International Organisation on Migration is also involved in operational issues with the Department of Civil Protection.

The outgoing Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Yoshi Hiraishi said the assistance extended to Zimbabwe is a token of sympathy by his country which experienced a similar disaster and the great east Japan earthquake 6 years ago.

JICA resident representative Mr Shumon Yoshiara said is at the forefront of global and regional efforts on disaster risk reduction and management.

The government of Zimbabwe launched an initial international humanitarian appeal beginning of March following heavy rains including Cyclone Dineo that left a trail of destruction since November last year.