Resources stretched as Cyclone Kenneth piles misery on Mozambique

Report
from CARE
Published on 27 Apr 2019 View Original

PEMBA (April 27, 2019) — CARE teams in northern Mozambique are witnessing enormous scenes of damage and destruction in towns and communities that were struck by Cyclone Kenneth.

Cyclone Kenneth is the first tropical cyclone with the equivalent of hurricane strength to strike Mozambique's northern province of Cabo Delgado since modern record-keeping began 60 years ago. According to the U.N., the strike by Kenneth marked the first time in recorded history that Mozambique has been hit by two powerful cyclones in the same season.

“We have been out on an assessment mission in Maconia district this morning and the entire area is a scene of vast destruction," said Daw Mohamed, CARE's humanitarian director. "Having handled several disasters three decades of my career, this is one of the few I can hardly find the right words to describe. Everywhere you look, there is destruction. People have been left homeless with no food, no water and are in urgent need of assistance."

“CARE and its partners are currently doing assessments and at the same time bringing in life-saving relief items to cater for the affected communities. Our priority is to make sure that women and girls are immediately supported with safe shelter and other basic needs so that they don’t become vulnerable to any dangers, abuse and other forms of exploitation,” Mohamed explained.

Kenneth has struck Mozambique on Thursday, just six weeks after another very powerful storm, Cyclone Idai, carved a trail of destruction through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing more than 1000 people and causing more than $2 billion worth of damage.

Authorities estimate that over 700,000 people have been affected by Kenneth. The government of Mozambique also says they have managed to evacuate about 30,000 people in the past few days.

CARE is planning to distribute essential household items including mosquito nets, water buckets, and tents for shelter and hygiene kits for women and adolescent girls. Some of the materials are already on their way to the affected areas but more assistance is required.

“Our resources are stretched,” says Mohamed. “We urgently need support so that we can reach more people affected by the cyclone. If we don’t, the repercussions could be catastrophic.”

The situation is likely to be compounded in the coming days by expected torrential rains. Some forecasts suggest that Kenneth could drop as much as 12 to 20 inches of rain over the coming days. This could cause severe flash flooding and extended and persistent river flooding.

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Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit: www.care.org.

Media Contacts

Nicole Harris, nharris@care.org, 404-735-0871

Vanessa Parra, vanessa.parra@care.org, 917-525-0590