Children still cry, water everywhere! A Rapid Assessment of Child Protection, Gender Based Violence, and Menstrual Hygiene Management Needs of Children, Young Girls and Women Affected by Cyclone Idai in Buzi District, Sofala Province.



This report presents the results of primary data collected in April 2019 by Plan International Mozambique and is supplemented by available secondary data on the humanitarian situation in Sofala province post Cyclone Idai. The following report highlights the humanitarian needs in the sectors of Child Protection (CP) and Gender Based Violence (CP) as well as information on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) practices, resources, materials, challenges, and cultural beliefs. Preferences for distributions of Non-food Items (NFI) and other humanitarian services are equally documented. Attention was paid to understanding the differences in risks faced by boys and girls in order to better respond to the unique needs of girls affected by the crisis.

The assessment was conducted in Bandua and Estaquinha Administrative Posts in Buzi District of Sofala Province. This report focuses on the identification and analysis of the different needs in these communities and is not intended to measure the level of response or the impacts of the crisis in other affected localities.

Overall Objective

The overall objective of this rapid assessment was to gather information about the impact of Cyclone Idai on children and women (up to age 24). It also sought to analyse the protection risks clarifying access and control of resources and humanitarian aid, considering the impact of disasters on girls and women regarding menstrual hygiene practices and beliefs before and after the Cyclone.

Emergency Profile

Cyclone Idai made landfall on 14-15 March 2019; it was the worst natural disaster to hit southern Africa in nearly two decades, resulting in 602 deaths as of 10th April and 73,643 displaced people sheltering in 77 sites (UN OCHA, 2019). 1.85 million people were affected by the cyclone, 1 million of whom were children (UNICEF, 2019). About 75% of settlements in Buzi province flooded with much cropland still underwater after three weeks. In Buzi, 177,000 people (the whole district) was affected; 94,000 female, 83,500 male, 47,000 girls (16,000 under 5 years), 41,750 males (14,500 under 5 years). Eighty per cent of the population is displaced, with families resorting to negative coping strategies to meet their basic needs (Plan International, 2019). Children, persons with disabilities, elderly people and childheaded households are among the most vulnerable groups who face risks in accessing safety and resources with the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse (Care International, 2019).

The humanitarian situation is compounded by high levels of poverty and existing vulnerabilities, as well as the Government’s limited fiscal capacity to respond effectively (UN OCHA, 2019). Up to threequarters of the population of Buzi lived below the poverty line before the disaster. Floods disproportionately affect the poor, who live in more vulnerable areas and in housing that is susceptible to damage by sudden onset disasters (Plan International, 2019). A protection assessment carried out in Buzi, and Guara Guara sites identified needs for improved protection, including related to gender-based violence (poor lighting, risks related to firewood collection, lack of showers) and child protection (no recreational facilities despite displacement distress, families experiencing separation (UN OCHA, 2019).