The World Food Programme (WFP)’s efforts to provide relief aid in Manicaland is being hampered by an acute shortage of Jet-A1 fuel to fly in helicopters in areas inaccessible by road.
The WFP revealed this in its latest update on its work in areas impacted by Cyclone Idai. It said:
There is currently a shortage of Jet-A1 fuel. WFP is liaising with the Government of Zimbabwe to identify solutions so that air operations are not impacted.
WFP Aviation has deployed one Mi8 helicopter from Malawi to Mutare to assist in the transportation of humanitarian cargo and personnel to affected areas within the Chimanimani and Chipinge districts. The helicopter is planned to do three rotations per day.
There is currently no diesel available in Mutare. There is no fuel of any kind – diesel or petrol – available in Chipinge.
The WFP noted that a significant number of bridges were destroyed making it difficult to access several areas:
Bridges at Mhandarume, Matsororo, Mvumvumvu, Biriri, Muusha Primary School and Nyahode are all reported as damaged.