"During the cyclone, a flood-gate was opened in Zimbabwe, flooding the flat, northern-most district of Govuro in Mozambique and leaving thousands of people out of aid's reach," explains Rowland Roome, CARE's country director in Mozambique. "CARE's agricultural specialists - who know where the families live and know the language in northern Mozambique - are working with the World Food Program to air-drop food to these cut-off families."
CARE now is finishing up a two-day survey to determine where to focus additional relief efforts. Though floods from the cyclone are reportedly not as severe as those that besieged Mozambique last year - the country's worst in 40 years - the devastation is substantial. Some 200,000 people reportedly have been displaced and an estimated 70,000 acres of crops have been destroyed.
"We expect to find extensive crop damage, but are hopeful that the water will recede quickly so CARE can help coordinate immediate planting," adds Roome. "It's not too late in the growing season to plant quick-yielding crops such as sweet potatoes."
The cyclone came right on the heels of widespread flooding in southern Africa earlier this month following days of torrential rain. CARE is continuing its relief activities in the capital, Maputo, in southern Mozambique for the thousands of people whose homes were swallowed by huge gullies during those floods. CARE is paying more than 70 workers to clear thousands of tons of silt from aged, long-neglected storm drains to prevent the gullies from further expanding and destroying the community's homes, schools and critical infrastructure.
CARE is one of the world's largest private relief and development organizations, with projects in more than 60 countries. CARE began working in Mozambique in 1986 to help people affected by civil war. Since then, CARE has continued to distribute food and offer other emergency assistance. It has expanded its development work to include small economic activity development, agriculture and natural resources, and health and water.