A team from the aid agency CARE is reporting widespread destruction in northern Mozambique as Cyclone Kenneth tears through the region a little more than a month after deadly Cyclone Idai.
It is the first time two cyclones have hit Mozambique during the same season, the United Nations has said.
Initial assessments show 99 per cent of Ibo district in the country’s north has been destroyed.
“Worryingly, it is still raining heavily and this is raising the risk of flooding,” said Daw Mohammed, CARE’s Director of Humanitarian Operations, from the city of Pemba.
The government has established about 20 evacuation centres in the city: “however, they require planes to make aerial assessments because the affected areas are not accessible by road,” Mr Mohammed said.
Some 700,000 people were in the path of Cyclone Kenneth. While the affected area is less populated than the area affected by last month’s Cyclone Idai, it has higher levels of poverty.
The immediate needs are food, shelter, water, sanitation, and protection for women and girls. CARE and its partners are making plans to support the affected communities and are moving shelter kits to the affected area.
The region is still reeling from Cyclone Idai which killed more than 1,000 people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
In Mozambique, hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged by flooding and more than 73,000 people are in shelters. Cholera cases spiked quickly and the storm destroyed crops. Worse, there is not enough funding to meet the growing needs.
“A lot of our resources have already been used in response to Cyclone Idai and most of our human resources and most of our funding is focused there at the moment so this is the last thing we needed,” said Saul Butters, CARE’s assistant country director in Mozambique.
Cyclone Kenneth also came at the beginning of the harvest season: “the rains and floods could wash out fields leaving farmers with no food or income. It will be next April before we have any significant food source and that will be a huge problem for the next year.”
To donate to CARE Australia’s Mozambique cyclone appeal, visit www.care.org.au/cyclone
For interviews with CARE spokespeople in the affected countries, contact Iona Salter on 0412 449 691.