Government is working on expediting the declaration of Cyclone Idai missing people as dead, while priority is also being directed towards construction of permanent infrastructure.

Cyclone Idai claimed many lives with 344 people still on the missing list despite many believing that all those who vanished when the cyclone struck are dead.

Acting provincial development coordinator for Manicaland Province, Mr Edgar Seenza said government is frantically working on the list of Cyclone Idai missing people to ascertain if they are dead stating that the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing will use his powers to reduce the five-year requirement for the missing people to be declared dead.

“We lost a lot of life while some are still missing. Government is in the process to declare missing people as dead. There is a law that the declaration should be made after years but the Minister of Local Government will use his powers and reduce the time frame. We, however, need to carefully verify the list of missing people to ascertain if they really passed on,” he said.

Mr Seenza also said government is in the process of reconstructing roads and bridges to replace temporary infrastructure with permanent structures, highlighting that the plan is to complete the exercise before the next rainfall season.

“We are running behind schedule as the rain season can further complicate things if we don’t move in quickly to rehabilitate roads. We will start with Jopa Ngangu road. Two bailey bridges from South Africa will be placed in Rusitu,”said Mr Seenza.

Meanwhile, government said no one should die of hunger, with Cyclone Idai survivors being among priority groups to be assisted.