Cyclone Kenneth—the second devastating blow to Mozambique in six weeks following Cyclone Idai—has displaced around 21,000 people in northern Mozambique into accommodation centres, while others have gone to stay with host families. The Government of Mozambique estimates Cyclone Kenneth has affected more than 200,000, now one week after its landfall.
“When the cyclone first hit, in the heavy rain and wind, the entire settlement around our house started to slide away. We ran for our lives. Everything that we had, our home and belongings are gone, all gone,” said Maria Semao from the Shibwabar neighborhood here. Semao and her family now are staying at an accommodation site arranged by local officials. “We can’t go back,” she explained. “The area is ruined and destroyed. The land is unsafe – it has slid away. We await resettlement to a different area.”
In close coordination with the Government of Mozambique’s Disaster Management Agency (INGC) and local actors, IOM already has begun providing assistance. On Matemo Island, where few buildings are left standing, shelter kits are critically needed to assist affected families. A stock of 200 shelter kits provided by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) was delivered yesterday to Matemo Island, where it was distributed immediately. Four hundred more kits are scheduled to arrive for distribution today.
The materials received yesterday (2 May), are part of two airlifts of relief material comprising over 1,600 shelter kits received at Pemba airport via UK DFID. These are the first of a total of six flights, set to deliver a total of 6,650 shelter kits and 100 tents providing shelter support to affected communities.
The DFID shelter kits – each including two tarpaulins and a rope – will enable families to create basic shelters. They are to be distributed with the INGC and local government agencies. The tarpaulins are bound for Pemba city, Ibo Island, Macomia district, Mucojo coastal area and other heavily affected areas.
“The United Kingdom is delighted to work with IOM. Their capacity and networks will mean that shelter will get to those in most urgent need quickly,” said Cate Turton, Director of UK DFID Mozambique, who is in Pemba.
One week after Cyclone Kenneth, ongoing rains and flooding have compounded the destruction across northern Mozambique. More than 21,000 houses are totally destroyed and an additional 13,000 houses are partially destroyed, according to UN OCHA.
Sadly, the tropical cyclone is known to have killed more than 40 people in Mozambique, according to the INGC.
IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering is in Pemba to support the relief operation. “The damage caused by Cyclone Kenneth is unspeakable,” she said. “The area is heavily affected; thousands of families are displaced with their homes and livelihoods destroyed. The lives of survivors continue to be at risk, as there are immediate needs for food, shelter, and clean water. Additional humanitarian support is urgently required.”
She continued: “Under the leadership of the Government of Mozambique and local actors, IOM is quickly responding to assist some of the most vulnerable families. This is the beginning of our support to Cabo.”
A team of IOM staff is on the ground to support the response. IOM staff Magnus Wolfe Murray, UN Shelter Cluster Coordinator in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost coastal province of Mozambique said, “Upon receipt, relief supplies are being immediately sent out to affected areas. Additional flights of relief supplies are expected in the coming days, including tarpaulins, rope and blankets.”
“With the Government and INGC in the lead, local philanthropists, civil society and private sector agencies in Cabo Delgado are working together in a consortium, providing a well-organized and effective response to support affected families. The response by IOM and humanitarian agencies will reinforce these efforts,” concluded Murray.
IOM has a long-term presence in the area, in support of government and local communities. Cabo Delgado is a key province for IOM, being part of a corridor where many migrants from the Horn of Africa transit en route to reach South Africa.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Organization for Migration (IOM).