PAP Goodwill Ambassador appeals for “fair media coverage”



The Pan-African Parliament Goodwill Ambassador for Food Security in Africa Dr. Brylyne CHITSUNGE has challenged the media to report more and factually about the effects of the deadly cyclones Idai and kenneth which have left many people dead and many displaced in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last month.

Dr. Chitsunge raised her concern during a presentation to the Plenary of the Continental Parliament currently sitting in Midrand. “The truth is that the situation on the ground following the disastrous Cyclone Idai is not what is portrayed in the media,” said Dr. Chitsunge.

“We need truth to be told as it is. We are appealing to the media to help us lobby to improve the lives of the victims of the cyclone. Things are really bad on the ground, we need to work together to assist our affected fellow brothers and sisters.”

Dr. Chitsunge stated that in Mozambique, four provinces were heavily affected in different ways by the disaster saying strong winds and floods had also hit hard on Sofala, Manica and Zambezia Provinces.

“Sofala province received the strongest water flows which washed away infrastructure and different assets. The overall impact is complex and very severe: from one district to the other, from one farm to another, the situation differs,” she disclosed.

More than five hundred thousand (500 000) families are reportedly severely affected and the impact is still difficult to describe. Areas in Zimbabwe and Malawi have experienced destruction of houses, properties with most households having lost almost everything.

In Mozambique alone, over 500 deaths were recorded while 228 died in Zimbabwe. According to Dr. Chitsunge, almost 90% of the affected communities relied on agriculture, with livestock rearing as a second livelihood. With the irrigation infrastructure destroyed beyond repair, the disaster has also deprived the communities of among others; mango, banana and citrus fruit trees as well as cashew nuts and coconuts.

The PAP Goodwill Ambassador currently engaged in situational assessment of the after-effects of the cyclones and mobilizing relief assistance for the victims in the three affected Southern African countries.