Mozambique + 1 more

CARE offices in Mozambique and Zimbabwe prepare to respond as Storm Eloise looks set to worsen into a Cyclone over the weekend

Maputo, Mozambique, 21, January 2021 - CARE Mozambique is currently working to secure premises, equipment, vehicles and archives as well as evacuate staff ahead of the arrival of tropical storm Eloise which has now developed into a potentially devastating cyclone, that is forecast to hit parts of southern and Central Mozambique early on the 23rd January before moving south to Zimbabwe.

CARE Zimbabwe staff are also closely monitoring the situation as Eloise is expected to make landfall there the 24/25th of January. CARE has surge capacity in country and prepositioned stocks to quickly respond as the need arises.

Marie David, Acting Assistant Country Director, CARE Mozambique:

"If Cyclone Eloise crosses Beira we could see a shutdown of communications and airports, but the main worry is flooding risk; with recent rains and Tropical Storm Chalane earlier this year, water levels are very high, and we can expect massive flooding following the landfall of Eloise and also problems for NGO in accessing affected communities.

We're also facing drought in other parts of the country at the same time. But thankfully we have teams that have a lot of experience in dealing with cyclones ready to respond if needed and through our COSACA alliance (with Oxfam and Save the Children) we have a good presence across all the areas likely to be affected. We should also not forget that we are still facing conflict in the North in Cabo Delgado with over 500,000 people displaced that remains a huge concern."

According to Monique Morazain, CARE Zimbabwe, Assistant Country Director:

"The frequency and severity of cyclones have increased in the region over the last year due to the impact of climate change; for example, tropical storm Chalane, though with minimal damage, passed through the country just three weeks ago. Areas of Southeastern Zimbabwe have already been facing flooding since 14 January which has forced many families into government established evacuation centres and has affected road access to key areas. This time last year we were facing a drought and widespread hunger in these areas, which just shows the complex nature of this global climate crisis we face."

She adds;

"The added impact of Eloise could see much wider spread flooding and infrastructure damage to a population already grappling with spikes of COVID-19 cases, compounded by a chronic economic crisis and CARE is concerned about the impact this will have on some of the most vulnerable groups like single women headed households or those living with disabilities. CARE Zimbabwe has been working with communities to build preparedness and resilience to these recurrent shocks in Masvingo Province."

CARE has staff available for interview on the ground in Maputo, Beira and Inhambane in Mozambique and in Harare and Masvingo in Zimbabwe.