HARARE, March 27 (Xinhua) -- China will donate 1 million U.S. dollars to help flood victims who were left stranded following heavy rains that fell in February, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping said Monday.
"In order to provide relief for flood stricken areas in Zimbabwe, this year the Chinese government will donate 1 million U.S. dollars in cash transfer to Zimbabwe.
"The Chinese Red Cross Society will also donate 50,000 dollars. Besides, the Chinese embassy and Chinese community will join hands to donate 10,000 dollars," he told guests during the launch of the Grand Tiger motor vehicle by Beiqi Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited, a joint venture between China's BAIC Group and two Zimbabwean companies.
Heavy rains that were worsened by Cyclone Dineo left 271 people dead, another 128 injured and nearly 2,000 homeless.
The deaths were caused by lightning strikes, drowning and landslides, according to the Civil Protection Unit, which added that nearly 2,600 homesteads were damaged in varying degrees.
The worst affected district was Tsholotsho (Matabeleland North Province) where a total of 859 people were left homeless and are currently in a transit camp and an additional 100 households remain at risk.
According to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, over 100,000 people are without safe drinking water following the damage to water supply infrastructure.
President Robert Mugabe on March 2 declared a State of Flood Disaster, leading to the launch of a domestic and international appeal for nearly 189 million dollars to help victims and repair infrastructure such as homes, roads, bridges, dams, schools, water and sanitation.