On 16 March 2019, the eastern parts of Zimbabwe were hit with heavy rains and strong winds as Cyclone Idai made landfall. Cyclone Idai characterised by floods and landslides resulted in loss of lives and left immense damage of infrastructure and livelihoods. The extent of damage caused by Cyclone Idai in some districts of Zimbabwe was unprecedented. In April 2019, the World Bank and the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) undertook a joint exercise to assess the losses and damages caused by Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe. The outcome of this exercise formed the foundations for a strategy for post-Cyclone Idai immediate recovery interventions and longer-term restoration of livelihoods and resilience building.
To inform the strategy for post Cyclone Idai recovery interventions there was a need to know the situation on the ground and how it was evolving over time. In order to fulfil this need for information, IOM through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) unit has been conducting assessments in the cyclone hit districts of the provinces of Manicaland and Masvingo. Seven districts were covered in Manicaland namely Buhera, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Makoni, Mutasa, Mutare and Nyanga. Five districts were covered in Masvingo Province namely Bikita, Chiredzi, Gutu, Masvingo and Zaka. Three different assessments were carried out; baseline assessment done at ward level, the return assessments, reintegration and recovery (multisectoral village assessments) done at village level and the return intention survey done at household level. Using the DTM tracking mobility component, several rounds of these assessments were carried out to determine the estimated number of displaced persons, the shelter conditions, multisectoral needs and the programming gaps of the affected population. This information was shared with various humanitarian response partners and the government of Zimbabwe as a way of promoting targeted response and accountability to affected persons.
From January 2020 to June 2021, a total of four rounds of return assessments, reintegration and recovery (village assessments) were carried out, two rounds covering the three most cyclone Idai affected districts; Chimanimani, Chipinge and Buhera in Manicaland province with data collection done from 23 to 30 April 2020 and 22 February to 5 March 2021.