Cyclone Idai Mozambique

Cyclone Idai tore through the heavily populated centre of Mozambique in mid-March 2019, demolishing homes, shredding infrastructure and flooding vast swathes of the country’s most productive farmland. It was followed the next week by Cyclone Kenneth, another category three cyclone, which decimated much of the north.

It was the first time two cyclones had struck the southern African nation in a single season.

The terror of the disaster is eclipsed only by its scale.

The UN estimates that three million people – more than half of whom are children – were left in need of urgent humanitarian assistance across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. In Mozambique, which took the brunt of the impact, 1.85 million people, including one million children, were left in need of medical assistance, shelter and food.

Power, transport and communications systems were brought down across large swathes of the country; thousands of fresh water wells were contaminated; schools, hospitals and businesses lay in ruins; and an entire season’s crop of cereal lay rotting in the fields.

One of the hardest things to watch was women and small children foraging for rotten husks of maize so they can make a porridge of cornmeal. If they were lucky, they would have a few green beans to add for protein.

To read the published story click here.

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