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Cyclone Idai / Kenneth – Mozambique - 2019
Health, Humanitarian assistance, Water and Sanitation
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
13 May 19
Micas Mondlane / Oxfam Novib
Micas Mondlane / Oxfam Novib
Minate Amede (29, right) speaks to community health volunteer Fatima Mowade at his home during a distribution of water treating Certeza water purification in Pemba, northern Mozambique. Due to few sources of clean water in the area, may families here rely on treating the available water to make it safe and clean for drinking and cooking.
Minate Amede, 29, husband and father of two children, welder:
"The government announced that the cyclone was coming so I took my pregnant wife, two children and mother-in-law and moved them to an alternative place close to the airport. When we were there, the rain fell one tree on our house and destroyed one side of the wall. We had to move back to our house and found water all over the place. Before we left, we had placed most of our items on top of cupboards in case water gets in the house. But when we returned a week later, we found our television destroyed and the bathroom and latrine were all full of water and could not be used. It’s only last week that the water started subsiding."
"In our home, I’m usually responsible for treating the water in the storage tanks, by pouring in a few drops of chlorine in the storage tanks. It’s important that I treat the water because I always hear on the radio and watch on the news that it will keep my family from getting sick. My wife is also pregnant, so I want to make sure that she is also protected from these diseases."
Fatima Mowade, 35 years, two children, volunteer:
"I’m doing this work because I want to help my people protect themselves from being sick (with diseases like cholera and diarrhoea). I believe that if people here were more careful with their cleanliness, then they would not fall sick. Keeping your house – kitchen, bathrooms and garden clean is important to protecting yourself from these (cholera and diarrhoea) diseases. It’s a right for every citizen."
"This is the third time I’m helping in the distributions. The ones who want to change (their behaviours), listen and change and live well."
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.
Pemba 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 Pemba by boat to bring emergency aid like clean water and sanitation. Families are rebuilding their homes but are still vulnerable so removed from aid and other resources.