WHY CHIMANIMANI HOTEL IS STILL STANDING

Mandla Mataure, the general manager of Chimanimani Hotel, has explained why his hotel survived Cyclone Idai.

WHY CHIMANIMANI HOTEL IS STILL STANDING

He told BBC Focus on Africa radio:” We were fortunate because this building was built soon after World War Two, so it’s got very solid concrete walls – it wasn’t damaged but just standing near a window and hearing the sheer force of the wind and the rain, I couldn’t even imagine what it was like for those who were in the village.

From the first night we have been sheltering about 400 people. It’s families – men, women, children who were just stranded and had nowhere to go after their homes were destroyed.

So we’ve opened up our doors: we’ve got a big enough conference room and lounge for people to sleep – camping style, at least until we can get something more semi-permanent.

A lot of people feel safer here [at night], maybe going back during the day to the areas where their homes were to try and salvage whatever they can find. Buildings were swept away, we’re in a mountainous area – it’s a mess. A lot of lives have been lost and we’re still counting, some people have been buried but some bodies are still under rubble.

We’ve got about four or five different roads that can bring you to Chimanimani but on each road there’s at least one or two bridges that have been damaged, making those roads impassable, so we’re pretty much stranded at the moment.

There are probably other areas in more need of rescue and support than us. Where we are is more the “Central Business District” (CBD) of Chimanimani, but the more remote areas are in desperate need of support.

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