Cyclone Idai: where we are six months on

Recently married Patrick Ghembo of Monyo Village, Malawi, standing in his field, destroyed by the floods. Patrick is a farmer of maize and rice. He and his wife must rely solely on fishing until he can plant again. They will stay at the displacement camp until the floods have fully subsided. Photo: Gavin Douglas
Recently married Patrick Ghembo standing in his field, destroyed by the floods, Malawi.

On March 15 2019, Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing more than 961 people and leaving almost three million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Since then, with your support, Concern Worldwide UK and other Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) members have worked tirelessly to provide immediate and long-term assistance to the people affected by this devastating disaster.

The impact of Cyclone Idai

When Cyclone Idai hit, strong winds and widespread flooding ripped apart roads, bridges, houses, schools and health facilities and submerged vast strips of agricultural land. The scale of the devastation was unprecedented.

The cyclone also came at the worst possible time for food production in the region. March is the maize harvest season, many crops were wiped out and much of the livestock was lost. The disaster also followed a series of cyclic droughts, which meant people were already vulnerable due to a lack of reliable harvests and healthy livestock.

Belita Andrade brings her emergency supplies home after Cyclone Idai hit Malawi. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.
Belita Andrade brings her emergency supplies home after Cyclone Idai hit Malawi. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.
Workers load up trucks with supplies for the areas of the Nsanje Region worst affected by Cyclone Idai. Malawi. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.
Supplies being loaded for the areas of the Nsanje Region worst affected by Cyclone Idai. Malawi. Photo: Gavin Douglas / Concern Worldwide.
Workers unload kitchen kits from a truck at a distribution in Ndeja, Mozambique, which was hard hit by cyclone Idai in March 2019. Photo: Tommy Trenchard / Concern Worldwide
Workers unload kitchen kits from a truck at a distribution in Ndeja, Mozambique.
Zaccharia Roberto pushes his bicycle laden with charcoal across a flooded river near Nhamatanda, Mozambique. Cyclone Idai has disrupted infrastructure across the country, impacting livelihoods and hampering aid efforts. Photo: Tommy Trenchard / Concern Worldwide
Zaccharia Roberto pushes his bicycle laden with charcoal across a flooded river in Mozambique.
Just one month previously, these fields were almost ready to harvest with a rich supply of maize. Photo: Gavin Douglas/ Concern Worldwide.
Just one month previously, these fields were almost ready to harvest with a rich supply of maize.

The response

Shortly after Cyclone Idai hit, the DEC opened an emergency appeal, raising funds to ensure that those affected got the help they needed. So far, the appeal has raised £41 million, including £4 million in Aid Match from the UK government.

With this money, DEC member charities were able to respond, providing immediate life-saving relief support including food, medicine, shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene supplies. The immediate focus of the international community was on relief and recovery; but we have also started providing, long-term recovery and building people’s resilience to future shocks.

So far, with the money raised from this DEC appeal, Concern Worldwide UK has supported 27, 653 people affected by Cyclone Idai. Specifically, we have:

  • Delivered agricultural support such as fast-growing seeds to over 5,000 households, allowing people to begin to replant their ruined crops.
  • Provided cash transfers to over 5,000 households to help families meet their immediate needs.
  • Trained 139 Lead Farmers to extend training to their respective follower farmers in certain areas.
  • Helped the formation of 50 irrigation clubs to provide water management to people living in Phalombe district.

 

In the longer term, we will also need to help people rebuild their livelihoods in a way that makes them more resilient to future climate shocks. Our ongoing work on climate smart agriculture, such as introducing drought-resistant seeds, for instance, is an important part of this long-term support.

We couldn’t have done this without your help. Thank you.

Check out the DEC’s interactive map that tracks the timeline of the crisis and launch of the appeal to see how else your support has helped those affected by Cyclone Idai.

Help those in need across the world

  • Our mission is to permanently transform the lives of people living in extreme poverty.

  • When an emergency strikes we are among the first on the ground.

  • We go to the ends of earth to deliver aid where it's needed most.

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