On March 15, 2019, Tropical Cyclone Idai slammed into central Mozambique as a Category 3 storm. After lingering in the Mozambique channel for six days, Idai made landfall near Beira, Mozambique, and tracked inland towards Malawi and Zimbabwe. The storm brought severe wind and flooding to these regions, with extensive damage caused to homes, schools, health facilities and infrastructure. Nearly three million people have been affected by the storm.
While media attention moved away from the devastated communities, survivors still face dire circumstances. This post-disaster region is a highly complex and challenging environment for both survivors and aid workers. The Mozambique government referred to this event as a “humanitarian disaster of great proportion” and requested international support for affected communities. Given the complexity of the situation, our data collection during remote assessments indicated that we would be more effective performing recovery activities.
We deployed our Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART) to Mozambique in early May to perform ground assessments and meet with the Ministry of Education, among others, to gain situational awareness and explore potential partnership opportunities.
Based on extensive discussions with local contacts to gain clarity around key challenges and determine how we can best support recovery efforts, we have identified two primary schools in rural communities in the Nhamatanda District, which have yet to receive aid after the cyclone and will commence work in late August.
Nhamatanda is a town in the Sofala Province of Mozambique. It lies along the Beira Corridor between Harare in Zimbabwe and Beira, Mozambique’s second-largest city. This area suffered extensive damage from Cyclone Idai in March 2019, with numerous schools impacted by severe flooding and wind. Each of the primary schools identified educates between 400-600 students. The schools teach grades 1-7, split between morning and afternoon class sessions and with classrooms being devastated during the cyclone, our teams will work to construct four or five classrooms and an office at each school.
In addition to reconstructing classrooms, the rural communities within which the schools are located are challenged by the absence of infrastructure – this includes piped water and electricity. Our volunteers will help to construct lavatories for the students as part of our WaSH work. Our project team will consist of experienced construction and engineering staff to ensure the schools are built to cyclone resilient standards and students will be able to return to safe learning environments.
It’s clear the road to recovery will be long and arduous but we are ready to start rebuilding resilience within the affected communities.
Please sign up to volunteer or donate today to help support the communities impacted by Tropical Cyclone Idai.
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