Everywhere you go here, there are stories of destruction and survival. These people are tough. But, unfortunately, their troubles are only beginning. The topography, the flooding, and the mud have meant that relief supplies have been slow to reach the isolated communities. People are hungry… and angry. “My family are starving, they are crying,” he says helplessly.
Those who have not yet been able to return to their villages are gathered in makeshift camps, with few facilities. Some, like Teresa, have taken to the roadside as the numbers swelled. “It was not safe for my children,” she says. They are surviving on pieces of rotting corn they salvage from the fields.
This would traditionally be the “hungry season” in Mozambique — a time when last season’s food reserves are running out and the new crop is not yet in. Before Idai arrived, people were already at their weakest — they are very, very vulnerable. Now they are forced to drink dirty river water, because wells were submerged and polluted, and the potential for the spread of water borne diseases like cholera is high.