Our staff on the ground in Malawi & Mozambique are working around the clock to support emergency efforts in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. It is undoubtedly one of the southern hemisphere’s worst disasters with floods, landslides and destruction. It’s a race against time to save people. 600,000 have been severely impacted, with hundreds of lives loss and this number rising by the hour. Roads have been destroyed, homes destroyed, livestock & farms flooded. Those who survived now have little or no access to food, water and sanitation, and cholera is a risk in some areas.
The Mozambique Government has issued a ‘Note Verbale’ formally requesting international assistance, including for all elements of the humanitarian response – food, shelter, education, health and non-food items, as well as logistical support, including air assets, boats and communications.
United Purpose already works in both these counties and is part of this emergency response, this being:
· Rescue operations of vulnerable and stranded people
· Provide immediate support in terms of providing food, clean water provision and sanitation
· Undertake an anti-cholera response
· Survey the damage and make assessments on needs and co-ordinate long term responses.
Below we talk to Arlindo Muambole, our response co-ordinator in Mozambique. He’s seen first-hand the devastation and tells us more about it.
What is your role at United Purpose?
At United Purpose, I am coordinating all activities related to food security and nutrition. This include capacity building of the smallholder farmers on how to improve yield using new technologies on food production, integrated soil fertility management and we also train smallholder farmers on climate smart agriculture practices.
How is the storm effecting people?
The cyclone has caused irreparable damage, among them loss of human lives, it has destroyed houses, there’s loss of livestock, flooded farms, fruit plants destroyed - the damage is great. The majority of the affected area is still inaccessible by road and air resources are very limited. As such, the damage may be greater than we even know right now.
How is United Purpose responding and helping people?
United Purpose is working in coordination with the National Institute of Calamity Management, a government organization that is directly involved in rescue operations, monitoring the people affected by the cyclone, this includes: doing an assessment of how many affected and what the damage is; work out what the correct response needs to be and report this to the government; make appeals for funding to pay for this work.
Thank you Arlindo! We’ll keep supporters updated on how this emergency situation developments.