International

Cyclone Idai has devastated our lives and we cant recover without the worlds help

People who lost their home by the cyclone Idai wake up in the morning as they stay in shelter on a street in Buzi, Mozambique, on March 23, 2019. - The death toll in Mozambique on March 23, 2019 climbed to 417 after a cyclone pummelled swathes of the southern African country, flooding thousands of square kilometres, as the UN stepped up calls for more help for survivors. Cyclone Idai smashed into the coast of central Mozambique last week, unleashing hurricane-force winds and rains that flooded the hinterland and drenched eastern Zimbabwe leaving a trail of destruction. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP)YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

The last contact I had with my mother in law was at 8pm on the night of the cyclone (Picture: Yasuyoshi CHIBA/AFP/Getty)

My house is in Beira, close to the Indian Ocean in Mozambique.

When I left my home to go and work in another town, I had no idea it would be the last time I saw Beira in one piece.

Today the city is partially submerged, and nine out of 10 houses are destroyed – including mine.

Before Cyclone Idai hit, the government sent alerts telling people to evacuate. I thank God that my wife and children went to Chimoio – which is a three-hour drive away – but my wifes mother insisted on staying behind in Beira.

The last contact I had with her was at 8pm on the night of the cyclone.

The wind was already very strong, and she was scared because the roof had started to come off and rain water was coming in. She cried because she thought she was about to die.

Advertisement

Advertisement

After that, all communications in Beira went dead.

For myself, my wife and our kids, it has been terrible. We were terrified because we didnt know what was going on. It was another four days before I received news, through a relative, that my family was alive and well. They are now living with neighbours.

Displaced families arrive after being rescued by boat from a flooded area of Buzi district, 200 kilometers (120 miles) outside Beira, Mozambique, on Saturday, March 23, 2019. A second week has begun of efforts to find and help tens of thousands of people after Cyclone Idai devastated a large swath of Mozambique. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

For myself, my wife and our kids, it has been terrible (Picture: AP/Themba Hadebe)

I am back in Beira this weekend and life here is very hard – the scale of catastrophe is immense.

The city is devastated. Many of the houses are destroyed; there is no electricity, no water and no communication.

A huge number of people have been displaced and need food, shelter and health facilities.

We stockpiled food for my mother-in-law before the cyclone, but it was destroyed by the water – and the price of food and water is rising every day.

A kilo of dried beans that used to cost 55 metical (66p) now costs 100 (£1.20), while a 1.5 litre bottle of mineral water now costs 120 metical (£1.45) instead of the usual 50 (60p).

The lack of electricity is also having a massive impact. The only way for my relatives to stay in touch is by charging their phones with a small solar panel.

And I recently met a boy who had travelled over 120 miles from Beira to Chimoio to withdraw money because the banks in Beira are not working.

The biggest challenge is getting to the affected areas. The roads are not accessible, so aid agencies are using boats and helicopters to reach people.

epa07460335 People of Buzi arrive in a boat at Praia Nova in Beira to get shelter after the passage of cyclone Idai in the province of Sofala, central Mozambique, 24 March 2019. Reports state that ome 1.7 million people are said to be affected across southern Africa. EPA/ANTONIO SILVA

The roads are not accessible, so aid agencies are using boats and helicopters to reach people (Picture: EPA/Antonio Silva)

In my role as Tearfunds country director for Mozambique, I am coordinating with our partners to support 20,000 people across the affected regions in Beira, Buzi, Nhamamtanda and Dondo.

Advertisement

Advertisement

We have been distributing chlorine tablets and clean drinking water to prevent waterborne diseases from spreading, as well as tents and food.

One of our partners has been using a boat to rescue people in Buzi.

They rescued 34 people going back and forth in the boat, but they counted 120 who were still stranded on rooftops and in trees.

Fortunately, a helicopter rescue is now underway and so we are focusing on providing relief to people in 50 resettlement areas where people have moved to.

Everyone is scared about this situation, and some are very disturbed because they have lost everything and now need to start from zero.

It was such a big shock, but I am trying to keep calm, do my job well and keep my family calm too.

On a personal level, like many other people we are faced with the challenge of making repairs to the family home and fixing the roof in the long-term. But riRead More – Source

Related Posts