The landfall of Tropical Cyclone Eloise in the night of 23 January 2021 and previously, the Tropical Storm Chalane on 30 December 2020, have deeply affected Sofala, in particular Buzi area, Manica, the southern part of Zambezia, Inhambane, and Gaza provinces. Out of these provinces,
Sofala was the most impacted, reporting significant damages and people affected.
According to the National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD), 441,686 people have been affected and over 56,000 houses were severely damaged or destroyed. In total, 43,327 people have been displaced, while 34,566 people were evacuated. Although the resettlement sites established in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in 2019 were not flooded and proved to be safe locations, Cyclone Eloise affected the shelter and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) structures in many sites due to strong winds and rains. The IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) multisector assessment, conducted with INGD following Tropical Cyclone Eloise, showed that Sofala province - in particular the districts of Buzi, Dondo, Nhamatanda and Chibabava - were most affected while Caia, also in Sofala province reported some damages in four of the resettlement sites assessed in the district. The Province of Manica, more specifically Sussudenga district, reported severe damages after the tropical cyclone, as well as the southern part of Zambezia Province. In total, the living conditions of 45% of the families living in resettlement sites were affected, as 8,755 shelters/houses were completely or partially destroyed due to the rain and strong winds. Many of these families, whose shelters are particularly exposed and vulnerable to damages as a result of environmental factors, had begun the (re-)strengthening of their shelters, which had been impacted by the wind and rains brought upon by the Tropical Storm Chalane, three weeks earlier. With the rainy season battling and more storms predicted, urgent attention is required to respond to the most critical needs. With limited resources available in country to respond at scale, the situation is dire.
The majority of internally displaced persons (IDPs) having sought refuge in the temporary accommodation centres activated after Chalane and Eloise, are women and children. Over half of the population has been displaced from Buzi district — an area often affected by floods and disasters, leading to chronic displacement and where the search for durable solutions remain a challenge and shelters is an overwhelming need. In the accommodation centres and displacement locations, the lack of food, shelter and access to WASH facilities, paired with the high level of congestion, renders conditions extremely difficult for those who have been hit by the passage of Eloise cyclone. (DTM MSLA in accommodation centers). With COVID-19 ramping up Mozambique,
IOM and partners are working together with the government to find sustainable, principled and adapted responses to seek solutionorientated approaches to the situation.
IOM leads the CCCM Cluster in Mozambique, providing coordination and technical guidance to partners for operational planning and supporting INGD in conducting rapid assessments. IOM is also supporting the Shelter Cluster, as co-lead with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and is promoting and advocating for sustainable solutions to address the extensive challenges faced by displaced populations and host communities in Mozambique.
Out of the total number of people affected, by 1 February, 34,271 displaced people were initially hosted in 36 temporary accommodation centres due to the conditions in their areas of origin, after both Chalane and Eloise storms. Conditions in accommodation centres showed congestion, as well as a lack of COVID-19 preventive measures. To ensure decongestion on sites and support safe, dignified return, the planning for the gradual deactivation of accommodation centers, paired with simultaneous technical assessments of return and relocation areas and in new sites identified for resettlement have started, with Beira city targeted as a first step. Through support from the CCCM Cluster and the local Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), in coordination with all Clusters, inter-agency efforts are made to support the government in principled returns and definition of solution-orientated options for affected populations, supported with intentions surveys, with the objective to inform the process. Further to the immediate humanitarian response required, critical considerations to ensure sustainable approaches are:
• Resilience approach building on lessons learned from Idai Cyclone • Durable solutions: phased, gradual and principled approaches to displacement management to include mid to long-term planning in the different options identified.
• Disaster risk management, preparedness and investments in anticipatory actions toward the management early on of disaster-risk induced displacement are critical to continue ensuring solutions orientated approached take place early on.
While all efforts are made to identify solutions, protection concerns are important on the ground. A rapid assessment conducted by IOM's Protection/ Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) team carried out with the district Services for Health, Women and Social Action (SDSMAS) of Buzi, Dondo, Nhamatanda and Sussudenga Districts, found that over 2,300 already vulnerable households already recently hit by tropical storm Chalane were heavily affected by Eloise.
Those vulnerable families, such as female and child headed households, elderly and chronically ill living alone or caring for minors, are now living in partially or totally destroyed shelters. In particular, almost half (1,073) of the affected vulnerable households are headed by women. The second most affected group are elderly living alone or caring for minors.
This situation exposes families to considerable protection risks in terms of physical safety and security, child protection, among others.
Furthermore, assessments show that the health sector in the affected areas is overstretched. A lack of outreach capacities for primary health care services, equipment and medical supplies make adequate response and systematic referrals challenging. Of the resettlement sites assessed, 25 sites do not have access to a health services. Six health centres near sites were also damaged in Buzi, Chibabava, Dondo and Nhamatanda.
The situation shows a clear gap in terms of availability of services, both in areas affected by the storms as well as in areas of returns and in temporary accommodation centres, where malaria and acute watery diarrhea (AWD) is being reported. There is an increased level of vulnerability amongst chronically ill patients due to loss of medication and/or personal documents due to loss of their housing and shelter.