Hotels come to cyclone victims' aid

HOSPITALITY concern Cambria Africa-owned Leopard Rock Hotel is committing 10 percent of its revenue over the next month to assisting Cyclone Idai affected individuals and communities while Chimanimani Hotel is sheltering around 300 affected people.

Cambria Africa director Samir Shasha said the money will be released periodically until the end of April and is being calculated against the top hotel’s revenue and not profits.
He said they have since procured a substantial amount of blankets for the victims.

“Leopard Rock has committed 10 percent of its revenues until the end of April to assist victims of Cyclone Idai. We will release this regularly. We have also acquired some blankets from Waverly to distribute,” Shasha said.

He said they would also provide support where needed in supporting relief efforts after the storm triggered floods and landslides that have killed over 300 people in Chimanimani. “Please let us know how we can assist particular needs close and far with our limited funds,” he said.

Although Chimanimani was the hardest hit, the entire eastern highlands landscape was lashed by record rainfalls which left over 16 000 families either homeless or displaced. The top hotel joins a few other hotels in the region that have committed substantial resources to offering relief to affected people.

Chimanimani Hotel is housing around 300 people in its conference rooms after its general manager Mandla Mataure opened up its doors.  “I was moved by their plight as they were walking up to the village only to huddle on shop verandas with nothing much on them.”
Chimanimani accommodation facilities are currently not taking any bookings as they are housing both victims and volunteers who are assisting with relief efforts.

Chimanimani Tourist Association executive members Jane High and Tempe van de Ruit have been leading relief efforts since disaster struck. Tempe’s family offered the first helicopter that assessed the situation and brought in the first medical supplies and evacuations as well as bringing in key staff with High coordinating all the efforts as local hoteliers are offering unrivalled assistance to victims.

Many others like Forest Hills and Holiday Inn Mutare have made their contributions through Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe — another big contributor.

Hoteliers have generally been at the forefront of relief efforts with government moving a little too slowly for an emergency of this magnitude due to bureaucracy.

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