Mozambique: Post cyclone Gombe rapid damage and losses assessment in the agriculture sector



In the last 16 years, Mozambique has recorded ten tropical weather systems, among them cyclones and storms.
In the last two seasons, the TCG was the most devastating in terms of deaths, affected population, cropland area, and damaged infrastructure. Since the beginning of the 2022 rainy season, Mozambique has experienced serious effects on its agricultural sector and the livelihoods of the population due to tropical storms. Gombe, a Category 3 cyclone, made landfall on 11 March 2022 in Mossuril District, Nampula Province, with heavy rains (200 mm/24h) and strong winds ranging between 150-230 km/h, which caused floods that swept away livestock, fishing assets, and inundated crop fields, destroying livelihoods, damages to infrastructure (including roads, electricity poles, private houses, and interruption of basic services), displacement of 736 015 of people, deaths of 63 people and a total of 91 177 hectares of crops destroyed (OCHA, 2022).

The most affected areas stretched along the coastal area from Nampula to Zambezia Provinces including intermediate districts, as well as some internal districts along the Zambezi River in Sofala Province. The areas affected include: the districts of Ilha de Mocambique, Liúpo, Meconta, Mogincual,
Monapo, Mossuril, Muecate, Nacala Porto, Nacala Velha in Nampula Province; Cidade de Quelimane, Maganja da Costa, Mopeia, Namacurra, Nicoadala, Pebane Districts in Zambezia Province; and Beira, Caia, Marromeu and Machanga Districts in Sofala Province. The districts in Sofala Province, besides being affected by floods from the Zambezi River, caused by TSA and TCG, also face a severe drought due to a marked deficit of precipitation in February, resulting in a severely below-average crop production (INAM, 2022).

Many of these areas were previously affected successively by TSA on 24 January 2022 and tropical depression Dumako (TDD) on 18 February 2022. The consecutive phenomena in less than three months caused cumulative damage exacerbating vulnerability conditions of the communities in the affected districts.

Since the occurrence of the cyclone there has been significant response in terms of information collection on the impact of the cyclone and provision of assistance. In late March 2022, the INGD and humanitarian partners carried out an IRNA to assess the needs of people impacted by the TCG. Considering the overstretched resources and ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northern region, FAO’s NSL, with support from the FAO resilience unit for Southern Africa (SFS-REOSA) and FAO country office, conducted a rapid geospatial assessment to assess flood extent, identify inundated cropland, and assess exposure of people to flood and inundated crops, as well as inform emergency response planning.

To further complement the efforts of the government and other FSC partners, and gain a more in-depth understanding of the damage and losses caused by the TCG in the agricultural-based livelihoods, a joint mission led by FAO, with support from the Government of Mozambique, through DPAP, SPAE, INGD, SDAE took place in April 2022. The mission focused on assessing and verifying the damage caused by TCG on the agriculture-based livelihoods as well as to identify the most urgent needs with regard to the food and agriculture sector.