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Cyclone Idai / Kenneth – Mozambique - 2019
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
A-05995-02, A-06004-02, A-05940-02, A-05940-03, A-05940-04, A-05940-05, A-05940-06, A-05940-07, A-05940-08
11 May 19
Micas Mondlane / Oxfam Novib
Micas Mondlane / Oxfam Novib
Hamisi Husseini Yusufu (36) constructing a temporary shelter for his neighbours to live in after their houses were damaged in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth in Ibo island in northern Mozambique.
"My mother and grand-mother died years ago so I’m the one who is taking care of everyone in the family. I am a fisherman and so the little I get from selling fish is enough to care for my family. My children go to school and my wife is comfortable, otherwise she would have left me by now."
"A week before the cyclone happened, the government made many warnings for people not to walk close to the sea because a strong wind would be passing soon, and it would be very strong. But people were very sceptical saying that they were rumours. Others jokingly asked if the government had suddenly talked with God!
But after a short while, the winds started blowing. Trees were split into two. Roofs were being blown off. We wanted to run but there was nowhere to run. No one was even around to help. Everyone was saving their own lives."
"I took the warnings seriously and started storing things that I could under a plastic sheeting. It rained heavily but at least the ones I saved were not completely destroyed. A lot of my neighbours have lost many things, but their lives were saved and that’s what’s important."
"I have volunteered to build a temporary house for my neighbour. He will live here with his wife and three children because their roof was blown away and they don’t have a proper place to sleep at night. We managed to salvage some iron sheets that were left and that’s what we are using to build."
"My mother’s house also had its roof blown away, but I also built a temporary shelter to her to stay with the rest of the family. I’m not sure I will be able to repair her house soon but at least they have a place to live now."
"We are flock without a shepherd. We are unsettled so it’s difficult to have hopes for the future. We don’t want to bother anyone so we’ll do what we can, and hope God helps us."
On 25th April 2019 just six weeks after Cyclone Idai, Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in Cabo Delgado province in Northern Mozambique. With winds up to 210 km/h, it is the strongest cyclone to ever hit the country. It’s the first time on record in Mozambique that two cyclones of such strength struck in the same season.
This part of the country isn’t often struck by powerful cyclones – so many would have been unprepared for Cyclone Kenneth’s impact. Many places are also experiencing heavy rainfall of up to 500 mm, which has led to severe flooding.
Over 700,000 people live in Cyclone Kenneth’s path, at least 370,000 people have been affected according to the government. Aerial assessments show how many villages were wiped out. The most affected districts are Quissanga, Macomia as well as Ibo, where up to 80 per cent of houses have been damaged or destroyed by the strong winds and flash floods.
Cabo Delgado is one of Mozambique’s poorest provinces. Many were already on the brink of poverty, and now they have lost their homes, livelihoods and even loved ones. Over 35,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed, over 30,000 hectares of crops are affected, and at least 38 people have died, according to the government. Nearly 200 classrooms have been devastated, affecting more than 20,000 students.
According to local authorities, 38 people have died, and more than 35,000 homes have been fully or partially destroyed. The UN (OCHA) estimates 168,000 people are in need of humanitarian support according across the whole district (Ibo, Quirambo, Matemo and Quirimba), including many hard to reach areas with limited access and logistical constraints. One of the most impacted area is Ibo, a small island just off the coast of Cabo Delgado.
There has already been flash flooding in Pemba and Macomia, with potential risks for landslides and storm surges impacting the wider district of Cabo Delgado, making access to communities very difficult and complicating the operations further.
Ibo island was directly hit by Cyclone Kenneth on April 25th, and many families lost everything in the winds and flooding. Already a remote island, Oxfam, working with the COSACA Consortium with Save the Children and CARE, reached the community on Ibo by boat to bring emergency aid like clean water and sanitation. Families are rebuilding their homes, but are still vulnerable as organisations take lengthy measures to ensure aid can reach those living in the remote island.