The rising stench of decomposing Cyclone Idai victims buried under debris at Ngangu in Chimanimani is now helping the recovery of bodies with residents saying sniffer dogs will quicken the pace of recovery of their missing relatives.

The body of a boy aged around 12 years being retrieved from debris of a house washed away by floods at Ngangu township’s new stands after being guided by the stench, two weeks after the cyclone wreaked havoc in the Eastern Highlands.

In what reads like a sad horror tale, residents near the most affected parts of Ngangu – where mud and boulders slid from the nearby mountains and destroyed dozens of houses – are now scouring the area, identifying where stench is emanating from before digging up.

“We are now being guided by the stench to recover our relatives. There are a lot of people buried under these huge rocks and mud,” Tatenda Zhambe, a villager, said.

“We call on government to bring sniffer dogs as quickly as possible. I lost two sisters and we don’t know where they are,” jhe told NewsDay.

Residents failed to positively identify the body of the boy who was covered in blankets, suggesting that he was washed away while in his sleep.

According to a villager Tatenda Zhambe, some residents were looking for hardware equipment believed to be buried under the debris when they were suddenly chocked by the stench.

Soldiers involved in the rescue operation later came and retrieved the body.

— NewsDay