During the month of March, the provinces of Zambézia, Niassa and Tete in Mozambique were hit by flooding and strong winds, as a result of Cyclone Idai. The cyclone left a huge trail of destruction with winds of up to 200 kilmetres per hour, and up to 180mm of rain in one day.
The Anglican Diocese of Niassa was adversely affected by the disaster, and Bishop Vicente has been keeping us updated via his friendship with Bishop Eleanor.
Following the disaster, local emergency response committees were reactivated, and within weeks, the diocese was able to provide refresher training sessions helping them to identify the most vulnerable in their communities and target their assistance accordingly. As helpful as this was, it was also a demanding process: the task was identify the most vulnerable, including the elderly, families with sick children, families led by children, and orphaned children living with grandparents – but there was a limit as to how many families could be included as “most vulnerable.”
These “most vulnerable” families were provided with 50kg maize and 5kg of beans for food, and 1kg of matuba maize seeds; all of which was sourced locally. The diocesan team aimed to do this in a way that benefited local business people by making announcements in each affected community, asking business people with maize and beans to bring them on the allocated date, to be purchased by the diocese at the appropriate market price. Locally hired trucks are now being used to distribute the food, however roads are in poor condition and this distribution work is difficult.
There is continued need in the area – some children have recently died of malaria, so beyond the provision of supplies to re-establish crops, there is a need for mosquito nets and water purification tablets.