As you may know, in late April, another cyclone hit Mozambique. Some thought it landed in the same place as Cyclone Idai in March. It didn’t. Mozambique is similar in length to the West Coast of the US. If Vilankulo (my home) were Los Angeles, then Cyclone Idai would have hit south of San Francisco and Cyclone Kenneth would have hit Seattle. Kenneth destroyed 90% of the infrastructure on two islands, tore up coastal towns and displaced 18,000. Response operations have mobilized from Beira to Pemba even as the survivors of Idai are at the start of a long road to recovery.
Just after Cyclone Idai, ParCo teamed up to support flooded villages along the Buzi river. Even today, people who lost everything live in muddy patches and walk long distances to access relief. Still others cannot cross high waters to reach relief stations on foot. They wait for helicopters to deliver rations which often fall short of the real need. Hunger is a protracted emergency that will last many months as 500,000 hectares of seasonal harvest were lost under flood waters.
Here is what ParCo have done so far (with lots of help):
Successes include getting the first lot of relief to many who were rescued near Estaquinha and helping a friend headed to Grudja to provide relief and first aid before international medical teams arrived. We are also proud of Orlando, the volunteer we attached to the International Red Cross mission in Estaquinha. Orlando himself lost his shelter near Beira but wanted to help those less fortunate near Buzi where he grew up. He helped us assess the situation and plan our next phase of response.
Our efforts were made possible with an outpouring of financial support from friends far and wide from the UK, Brazil, Poland, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, the US and Mozambique. And thanks to local businesses providing transportation and discounting prices we have been able to stretch donations to maximize impact for the survivors.
Our friends Mel and Mandy, missionaries from England who have been helping the most vulnerable families in Vilankulo for decades, have committed to relocating to the Buzi area to aid with recovery in one or two villages. They will be heading up next week for their second visit ahead of relocating on a more permanent basis.
One thing we have learned from our efforts is that the geography of destruction is so far reaching that all efforts are valuable. We have coordinated with others to get relief where it is most needed. Our next goal is to go deeper in a single village. The vast majority of villages will not receive dedicated on-the-ground assistance. But we are partnering with Mel and Mandy to help a uniquely challenged community to access basic health care, clean water and food, and to plant seeds, and rebuild homes and schools. The work will start with the most vulnerable families such as destitute grandparents looking after grandchildren. Our partnership with these dedicated humanitarians fuels us to keep going.
We are also thrilled to have partnered with local musicians to launch an album of solidarity as a fund raiser for the next phases. If you donate $20 now, we promise to share the music with you once it is produced. A teaser is provided below…
If you would like to help, please transfer a donation to paypal.me/julietlyon or send a check with a note “Juliet Cyclone Idai Project” made out to UCC Cornwall (8 Bolton Hill Rd, Cornwall, CT 06753, USA).