Aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth, Southern Africa Faces Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is currently a major concern in Southern Africa due to the destruction of planted crops -rice, beans, maize, and cassava- and loss of pre-cyclone harvests that were either washed away or spoiled and not fit for human consumption.

At least 55,351 hectares of crops were affected by the tropical cyclone; 40 per cent of which (28,189 crops) were completely destroyed, according to humanitarian sources.

There is a window until the end of this May for the planting of maize and beans. However, finding seeds of appropriate quality is expected to be challenging.

About 10,000 fishermen lost their fishing boats and/or fishing equipment. In the Integrated Food Security Phase (IPC)-Nutrition Assessment conducted in April 2017, the districts of Namuno, Chiure and Ancuabe in Cabo Delgado had the highest rates of acute malnutrition in Mozambique, and this is expected to be exacerbated by the cyclone.

Aid workers say at least 128,200 people had been reached with food assistance in Ibo (9,458 people), Macomia (84,390 people), Pemba (1,430 people) and Quissanga (32,928 people) districts as of May 12.

Over 516,000 doses of the Oral Cholera Vaccine arrived in Pemba on May 12. There have now been 149 reported cholera cases in Pemba (120 cases), Metuge (19) and Mecufi (10), and the number of displaced people sheltering in accommodation centres had reduced to 3,130 people in eight sites as of May 12.

However, the death toll from the impact of Cyclone Kenneth is now 45 people, including 41 people in Cabo Delgado (33 in Macomia; seven in Pemba and one in Quissanga districts) and four in Nampula (two each in Erati and Memba districts) provinces, according to the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC).

Nearly 45,000 houses have been either partially destroyed (22,042 houses) or totally destroyed (22,865) in the two provinces; 84 per cent of which (37,748 houses) are in Cabo Delgado province.

More than 1,400 houses remain flooded, according to the Government. Nearly 41,700 school-age children in Cabo Delgado have been impacted by the destruction of 480 classrooms either partially (291) or completely (189), in addition to the occupation of schools by displaced people.

The number of accommodation centres housing internally displaced people (IDPs) reduced from 11 on May 9 (hosting 3,500 people), to 8 sites sheltering 3,130 people as of May 12, according to the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC).

About 68,330 people (13,666 households) are being targeted for resettlement, according to the Government. Humanitarian partners continue to advocate for all population movement to be safe, dignified, voluntary and informed; in addition to ensuring access to basic social services in the area, including access to water, sanitation facilities and food.

Some 149 cholera cases had been reported in Pemba (120 cases), Metuge (19) and Mecufi (10), as of May 12. Over 516,000 doses of the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) were received by the authorities and health partners in Pemba on May 12, for the vaccination campaign scheduled to start on 16 May, according to the authorities.

At least 19 health posts were destroyed by the impact of the cyclone, including sexual and reproductive health facilities. It is estimated that more than 7,000 pregnant women are at risk of unsafe childbirth in affected areas, according to the United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA). The distribution of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH kits) is underway to key locations.

The lack of power/electricity continues to affect water supply for areas serviced with electric water tanks and hand pumps, including in Mucojo and Quissanga. Water trucking remains a challenge in the affected areas of Pemba as the entire water system network has reportedly broken and may need to be replaced in several places, according to the government.

Humanitarian actors, in collaboration with the government had reached more than 128,200 people with food assistance in Ibo (9,458 people), Macomia (84,390 people), Pemba (1,430 people) and Quissanga (32,928 people) districts, as of May 12.

This includes more than 37,000 people reached with High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) and more than 91,000 people provided with a two-week food ration. Food Security Cluster partners are planning to support fishermen and farmers, including with seeds (maize and beans) and fishing equipment and boats, by the end of May. Nutrition partners have initiated screening and Vitamin A supplementation in health centres and two accommodation centres in Pemba.

Protection partners are in the process of dispatching 15 large tents and 15 small tents for the establishment of women-friendly spaces. The training of social workers identified by the Ministry of Gender on protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and child protection is ongoing.

A protection mainstreaming checklist has been endorsed by the Government and widely shared to facilitate the integration of protection in the humanitarian response. As of 11 May, UNFPA had distributed 34 sexual and reproductive health kits, 300 dignity kits and 10 tents in Ibo, Macomia, Quissanga and Metuge districts. Through coordination with telephone service providers, a broadcast text message on PSEA has been circulated, increasing awareness of the issue.

Education Cluster partners are supporting the establishment of temporary learning spaces and rehabilitation of damaged schools. Three schools tents were dispatched to Ibo on May 12, with plans to send learning kits to Ibo and Mucojo in the coming days.

One school tent and 160 boxes of school kits were delivered to Quissanga and 25 school kits have been delivered to Metuge. The school in Metuge continues to be used as an accommodation centre and the tents will be used or temporary learning spaces.

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