This Operation Update #8 reports on the achievements of the Emergency Appeal for Mozambique in response to Tropical Cyclone Idai and Kenneth for the period covering 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021. The figures of people assisted are, however, cumulative since the beginning of the operation (March 2019). The months of March and April 2021 marked the second anniversary of cyclones Idai and Kenneth respectively, which left significant destruction across Mozambican provinces. After two years, the main balance is visibly the 93,418 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)that are still living in resettlement sites and accommodation centres, in the same versions of emergency shelters from Cyclone Idai, now beyond degraded. The road to recovery for these communities has been difficult as it has been interrupted several times by the recurrent floods and tropical rains (including Cyclone Eloise), 2 which created additional shocks: causing repeated damages to shelter, crops and infrastructure. The vulnerability of the Idai-affected communities has been further exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic restrictive measures imposed by the Mozambican government which have been in place since March 2020. The insecurity situation in central and northern provinces has spiralled the number of IDPs in the country as of February 2021, 700,000 IDPs3 are reportedly said to have fled Cabo Delgado into neighbouring provinces or cross into Tanzania.
According to the Shelter Cluster report4 on the challenges and gaps faced by the Idai-affected communities in central Mozambique, as of March 2021, the non-displaced communities who were also affected by cyclone Idai continue reporting large gaps and needs with 48,743 families in need of assistance in shelter and essential NFIs (non-food items) such as blankets, solar lamps, kitchen sets, jerry cans, sleeping mats. This group is reported to have received little support as none of the partners implementing permanent housing projects is working with them.
This operation updates also highlights the changes in the humanitarian context due to the vulnerabilities generated by events such as the ongoing restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the floods and two tropical storm/cyclones experienced from December 2020 throughout January 2021 (Chalane, Eloise), and the ongoing insecurity situation in the country and elaborates the actions taken so far as well as the shift in the operational strategy considering these circumstances. Some of the recovery activities have been delayed or put on hold from March 2020 until March 2021, following the declaration of a State of Emergency in Mozambique and accompanying restrictions to mobility that have been observed as well as enhanced duty of care towards staff, volunteers, as well as of course communities.
The Mozambique Red Cross, CVM, with the support of the IFRC and Movement partners is supporting communities affected by cyclones across provinces with a range of regular programmes as well as the continuation of activities of the latter part of the current appeal of Cyclone Idai.
The revised Emergency Appeal chronogram was approved and published in September 2020, which resulted in a timeframe extension for four months to cover the time lost due to COVID-19 pandemic and fulfil the recovery commitments towards the population of concern.
The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, and the natural disaster events experienced in the country during the reporting period, such as flooding, and responding to more imminent needs raised by Cyclone Eloise, have undoubtedly presented challenges to the recovery operations of Cyclone Idai. In particular, due to the floods experienced in January 2021, it was difficult to access some flood-prone areas of intervention, throughout February, especially the locality of Chinamacondo, in Dondo District, and the localities in Buzi and Mashanga Districts. As a consequence, some operations had to be put on hold, due to the 37 road cuts, as reported by the Eloise Bulletin #2. Other logistical challenges delayed operations such as slower procurement and transport of materials. The loss of time due to the various constraints slowed down the progress of recovery activities by sectors to assist the Idai affected communities.
During the reporting period of January – March 2021, CVM, with the support of the IFRC, CVM prepositioned emergency teams before Eloise making landfall. CVM volunteers supported preparedness activities and the evacuation of people from flood-prone areas, and CVM was one of the first to respond to the emergency on the ground. The activities carried out in response to the floods and cyclone Eloise include:
• Deployment of teams from headquarters to Inhambane, Manica and Sofala Provinces in preparation for landfall.
• Dissemination of Early Warning messages and support in evacuation the days before landfall through sound systems on cars and volunteers in Buzi and Beira.
• Search and rescue of 150 families (882 persons, 78 men, 458 women, 346 children) through volunteers by boat in Buzi. People were rescued from rooftops and treetops. First aid was provided to the families.
• CVM supported 24,301 persons to cross the river in Nhamatanda district.
• CVM supported the government by mobilising 96 volunteers in the transit centres and put on standby a further 150 volunteers in the Sofala Province.
• Distribution of 500 mosquito nets in accommodation centres in Nhamatanda District and almost 1,128 bottles of certeza/chlorine distributed to 4,224 beneficiaries accompanied by presentation of household water treatment (Districts of Buzi, Dondo, Beira, Nhamatanda). Approximately 61,467 litres of water were treated.
• CVM volunteers carried out sensitization on acute watery diarrhoea, malaria and COVID-19 in 8 accommodation centres and 7 neighbourhoods by 96 volunteers. 135 presentations were held and 19,249 beneficiaries were reached.
• PSS support to staff, volunteers and beneficiaries. 1,040 sessions were held in which 5,005 beneficiaries were reached.
• CVM participated in different coordination meetings such as at CENOE (Centro Nacional Operativo de Emergência = Emergency Ops National Center), led by INGD and HCT at all levels.
• CVM had active participation in different clusters and leading the Shelter one with the IFRC support.
• In Zambézia and Manica CVM, 180 volunteers were involved in the rapid assessments integrated the multisector lead by INGD.