Cyclone Idai: Death Toll Rising In Mozambique

The Government of Mozambique says they are expecting the death toll from the floods and impact of Cyclone Idai to continue to rise in the days ahead. Already, the official death toll has risen to 417 people, according to the government on March 23.

More than 89,100 people are shelteringin 122 sites across Sofala (90 sites), Manica (18 sites), Zambezia (10 sites)and Tete (4 sites), with an increase of 17 more sites in Sofala province since March 20.

More than 1,500 people have been injured and the number of victims continues to rise as the waters recede and more people are reached by response teams.

Some 3,140 schools have been destroyed, affecting more than 90,000 students, according to government figures on March 23. More than 33,600 houses have been totally destroyed (20,282), partially destroyed (17,137) or flooded (2,184), according to the authorities, and nearly500,000 hectares of crops have reportedly been destroyed,heightening the risk of rising food insecurity in affected communities.

Humanitarian agencies say women in Mozambique play a critical role in agricultural production and at the same time remain responsible for the majority of care giving. With the care giving burden likely to increase in the aftermath of the cyclone and floods –as illness and injury have risen –women may have to decrease their agricultural production, risking further increases in food insecurity.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that about 74,650 women impacted by the cyclone are pregnant of whom 60 per cent (43,000) are estimated to give birth in the next six months.

Of these, about 7,465 are at risk of life-threatening complications of pregnancy and will need access to functioning health facilities and care.

Water levels in Buzi and Pungue rivers have reportedly receded, but the region remains at risk as rains continue in multiple locations.

The Cahora Bassa dam in Tete Province has reached capacity and will be discharged torecover storage capacity in preparation for anticipated additional rains in the coming week. Although this does not produce a high risk of flooding, weather experts have identified some areas that are on alert.

Meanwhile, the Marowanyati dam in Zimbabwe has been hit by heavy rains, putting populations in the river basin at high risk. The rainfall could lead to a potential rise in some smaller coastal basins in Mozambique between Beira and Zambezi River mouth.

Commodity prices in Beira continued to rise and buyers are reportedly unable to afford goods, where available, according to field reports. Almost 80 per cent of the economic infrastructure, including warehouses, storage silos and supermarkets in Beira have been destroyed, leaving behind damaged goods, according to the Logistics Cluster.

Stalls in the Maquinino informal market -Beira’s largest-have all been destroyed, impacting the availability of essential products.

A box of tomatoes that cost about 500 meticals a week ago now costs between 2,000 and 2,500 meticals, according to the local community. The situation in Chimoio remains critical. Two bridges collapsed and another five are still flooded in Mossurize and Sussundenga districts in Manica province, according to Save the Children.

Mossurize District is isolated from the rest of theprovince and entry is only possible via Zimbabwe.

Crops in the Chimoio green belt, which provides the livelihood of hundreds of families through the production of cereal and vegetables, have been flooded. In Zambezia district, 308 classrooms (88 conventional and 220 traditional) were destroyed during the floods, according to a rapid assessment conducted in the district.

Some of the affected children have been integrated in schools near accommodation centres. The Ministry of Education has requested more than 23,000 student kits, 576 teacher kits, 15 Early

Childhood Development (ECD) kits, 10 classroom tents and 500 tents.

The Ministry of Public Works has requested a variety of items such as water pumps, water treatment systems, water tanks, hygiene kits, plastic rolls and fuel. Logistics remain a challenge.

The corridor from Mutare (Zimbabwe) to Chimoio is open; Beira and Chimoio airports are fully operational; the Beira sea port and railway services (Sena railway line) between Tete (Moatize) and Beira cities are also operational. Stocks of Jet-A1fuel are reportedly available in Tete and Quelimane. However,these must be airlifted to Beira where there are limited stocksandnoJet-A1 fuel is currently available in Chimoio.

Electricity from power grids in Beira continues to be non-functional, leaving large partsof the city without sustained power. At least 80 per cent of the electrical infrastructure in Dondo district is damaged, according to the Government.

On March 20, the national electricity company airlifted power equipment to Beira to provide alternate power services. Storage capacity in Beira remains constrained and the Logistics Cluster is closely monitoring the situation to avoid bottlenecks at both the port and airport. RESPONSE International support to the Government-led response continues to ramp-up.

INGC is assisting organisations in fast-tracking relief items from customs at Beira and Maputo airports and sea ports, according to the Logistics Cluster. Radio Mozambique is providing aid workers with air time to convey key messages to communities in affected areas, including on where to find help, overall response and code of conduct during emergencies.

Messages around the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) have been aired and communities have been advised to report to the police any demands for payments or favors, including of a sexual nature, made in exchange of humanitarian assistance.

A key message in the communication is that humanitarian aid should be given free of charge. Translators Without Borders have highlighted the need to ensure that life-saving information is communicated to communities quickly and in a language, they are familiar with.

Over 40 languages are spoken in Mozambique but only half of the population can speak Portuguese, with the statistics being lower in rural areas and among women. A ‘Solidarity Ship’, organized by a group of volunteers, with food and non-food items was set to sail for Beira on 23 March. A vessel with essential medicine and medical supplies, reportedly enough for the whole of Sofala, arrived on 21 March. Medical teams, including from Angola, have arrived and are supporting the health response.

On March 21, a Portuguese rapid reaction force -consisting of 25 officials from the navy, ten from the army, three from the air forces and two police officers-were deployed to support operations in Mozambique. The team will carry out search and rescue missions, victim support, distribution of medicines and food. A second deployment is underway.

Coordination efforts are being led by the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC)with the support of agencies on the ground. World Food Programme (WFP) has scaled up life-saving interventions in affected areas and is providing engineering support for the rehabilitation of roads and bridges in Manica. On March 21, WFP’sMI-8 helicopter transported energy biscuits to Guara-Guara in Buzi district.

Save the Children have distributed aid to affected people at the Trangapasso support centre in Chimoio. The authorities have identified a housing centre for displaced peoplein order to vacate classrooms and allow learning to start. Help Age’s country team and partners are reaching out to older people in affected communities to assess and meet their urgent needs.

Older women and men, particularly those living alone and those with disabilities tend to be neglected or left behind in emergencies, and it is vital that their needs and rights are understood and adequately addressed.

Plan International is conducting rapid needs assessments and distributing blankets, dignity kits and utensils to affected families, as well as mosquito nets and water purification tablets. Plan is also mobilising child protection eams to help prevent gender-based violence, by raising awareness among communities of the risks to girls and young women and delivering training to ensure that any incidents are quickly reported to the authorities.

Water Mission is collaborating with local partners and is planning a shipment of disaster relief equipment, including more than 100,000 water purification packets and five Living Water Treatment Systems along with the equipment needed to set up emergency distribution centers. Each system can be fully operational within just three hours and can pump up to 10,000 gallons of water a day.

UNFPA is providing humanitarian assistance to protect the health and well-being of women, through services for sexual and reproductive health and prevention of and response to gender-based violence (GBV).

The agency is: supporting 19 mobile clinics in hard-to-reach areas; providing 2,000 dignity kits to the most vulnerable women and girls; providing 3,500 tents for mobile sexual and reproductive health services; providing 240 emergency reproductive kits to cover the needs of more than 300,000 affected people, including delivery kits for communities and hospitals, post-rape treatment kits, and kits for prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections; and supporting GBV case management and psychosocial services for GBV survivors.

In Zambezia, the Provincial Governor has activated the Coordination Operation Centre and all actions are being coordinated by the INGC. A registration of the beneficiaries in the accommodation centreshas been carried out to facilitate the distribution of food and non-food items.

More than 9,600 people are accommodated in the 10 accommodation centres in the districts, each of which now has a health centre. Medical officers are reporting increased cases of malaria, diarrhea and minor ailments. The Ministry of Health has also been distributing certeza –a water treatment product -to flood victims. An additional 50,000 bottles of certeza have been delivered to the Provincial Health Ministry.

The flood response has coincided with the polio campaign in the district and this has posed significant challenges in terms of access to some districts, particularly in Chinde and Luabo. FUNDING/PLEDGESThe Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique has expressed the willingness of businesspeople and the private sector to assist in the recovery of infrastructure destroyed by the passage of Cyclone Idai.

The majority of the private-sector support isbeing provided through the Red Cross Mozambique and National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC).

On March 22, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) facilitated abriefing with members of the diplomatic community and the private sector and shared information on the mechanisms for monetary aid and in-kind deliveries.

Information on planned donations by the private sector and donors is being compiled to help inform targeting and avoid duplication.Sasol, a gas company, has committed to donate US$250,000and Anadarko-led Mozambique LNG has committed to donate $200,000. Kenmare Resources, which operates the Moma Heavy Sands Project in Nampula province, announced a donation of three million meticais (about 42,000 euros), while ExxonMobil will provide $300,000; of which $250,000 will be contributed to the American Red Cross and $50,000 will go to organisations operating in the country.

USAID has activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) forMozambique and on 21 March reportedly mobilized $700,000 to support emergency water, sanitation, hygiene, and shelter needs in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Of this, $200,000 is for relief efforts in Mozambique.Finn Church Aid has allocated 50,000 euros from its disaster fund to support through ACT Alliance and local partners.The Government of Belgium announced that it will provide more than $45 million (€40 million)in 2019through four channels: i)the Central Emergency Respond Fund (CERF),which has already mobilized $14million for Mozambique; ii) the Immediate Response Account (IRA) of WFP($5.9 million); iii) the Special Fund for Emergency Rehabilitation (SFERA); and iv)the FAO ($200,000) and the International Committee of the Red Cross ($250.000).

Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA) is dispatching an additional team of water and logistics experts to help with the restoration of the drinking water supply. Previous teams arrived with 12MT of relief goods, consisting mainly shelters materials.

SHA is further providing $2 million (CHF 2 million); half of which will be used for its own response activities whilethe other half will be disbursed to UN agencies.

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