When Cyclone Idai hit southern parts of Africa, it left nothing but death and destruction in its path. Thousands of people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe lost their lives and millions have had their homes and livelihood affected. The urgency levels have only increased since as cholera outbreaks across the region threaten thousands more lives.
Mozambique was the worst hit by the devastating cyclone in March of this year, immediately claiming the lives of over 600 people and destroying thousands of homes. According to Reuters, over 1600 people have been injured so far and more than 200 thousand households have been affected – overall affecting nearly two million people in the region. Mozambique is already considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world and this cyclone has hit the people and the economy hard, with recovery likely to take years.
Crisis Aid is on the ground now to help provide food, shelter, clean water and emergency medical care. BUT we cannot do this without your help. It is only with the support of our generous donors that we can continue our work. Your donations will help provide emergency aid as well as the means to help rebuild the lives of those devastated by Cyclone Idai.
The majority of the destruction was caused when Cyclone Idai landed on Mozambique’s port city of Beira, where the heavy rains and winds caused the two major rivers of the city to burst their banks. The force of the water wreaked havoc on everything that came in its path, submerging entire villages and killing hundreds of people in its way. Thousands of men, women and children fled for their lives, many with family members unaccounted for.
The heavy rains in Malawi and Zimbabwe were no less brutal, further claiming almost 1000 lives and affecting over a million people. Here too dozens of residential districts where affected, with the floods washing away bridges, roads and thousands of homes.
The cyclone – which has been recorded as one of the worst tropical cyclones to affect Africa and the Southern hemisphere – may have passed but it has left millions of people displaced and destitute. Desperate families who have been forced to flee their homes are now in makeshift camps, with little food and no electricity or running water. The hardest hit are always the children and who are always at high risk. UNICEF reports that the Mozambique government has confirmed over 1400 cases of cholera, a figure which is certainly expected to rise in the coming weeks. If untreated cholera can be deadly, and this outbreak is putting thousands of children and their families at risk.
The effects of the disaster continue to reverberate weeks later and the suffering of the victims of Cyclone Idai continues. As the water levels recede across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, new levels of destruction emerge. Survivors who return to their devastated cities and villages not only discover destroyed homes but bodies of friends and family too. Next comes the task of identifying the victims and trying to reunite them with their already distressed families so they can perform the last rites.