UNICEF Mozambique Cyclones Idai and Kenneth Situation Report #12 (March - July 2019)



  • Mozambique was hit by two devastating cyclones – Cyclone Idai on 14 March followed by Cyclone Kenneth on 25 April. At least 66,118 people remain displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance hosted in 65 resettlement sites in the cyclone affected provinces.

  • An estimated 1.7 million people are facing food insecurity, and the number is expected to increase to two million people during the lean season (starting in October 2019).

  • UNICEF supported the massive screening of 760,000 children under-5 for acute malnutrition in the cyclone affected provinces, with 2,420 with severe malnutrition (SAM) identified and referred for treatment.

  • UNICEF has provided 72,825 school-aged children with learning opportunities through the establishment of 356 temporary learning spaces (TLS) in affected schools and resettlement sites.

  • UNICEF supported the vaccination of 434,899 children against cholera and 673,614 against measles.

  • UNICEF provided access to safe water to about 1 million people in cyclone affected provinces.

  • UNICEF supported the birth registration of 26,924 people including 12,301 children under 14 years old in Manica province.


1.85 million People affected by the cyclone in need of assistance by HRP 2019

1 million Children affected by the cyclone in need of assistance

500,000 Children targeted by UNICEF

7,000 Cholera cases reported in Sofala and Cabo Delgado provinces

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Mozambique was hit hard by Cyclone Idai, which formed over the northern Mozambique channel on 9 March and made landfall near Beira on the night of 14 March. Following landfall, the cyclone continued its progression inland and resulted in very heavy rainfall on central Mozambique (150 mm/24h), which led to major flooding in Manica and Sofala provinces.

On 19 March, the President of Mozambique declared a national emergency and three days of national mourning starting on 20 March.

According to OCHA about 1.85 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in cyclone affected areas, while the official death toll stands at 603 people. An estimated 223,947 houses were destroyed or damaged and at least 160,927 people were displaced due to the cyclone and flooding with most of the displaced hosted in 164 transit centres in Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Tete provinces. The largest number of transit centres were in Sofala where at least 109,702 people were hosted in 116 centres. According to IOM, there are currently 66,118 people displaced and hosted in 63 resettlement locations in Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Tete provinces .

The cyclone exacerbated pre-existing protection risks, including child protection concerns, sexual and gender-based violence, loss of personal documentation and property rights. Furthermore, it weakened the response capacities of the social welfare and justice sectors, resulting in a staggering number of unaddressed pre-existing and emergency-related protection cases. According to the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), at least 335,132 students were affected by the floods and cyclone due to the damage of 3,504 classrooms in Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Tete provinces and at least 93 health facilities were affected in three of these provinces.

There was also a cholera outbreak in Sofala in the aftermath of the cyclone. On 27 March, the Government confirmed the first cholera case at Munhava health centre in Beira. There were in total 6,768 cholera cases and eight deaths recorded in four districts of Sofala province (case fatality rate of 0.1 per cent), and 4,745 (70 per cent) of the cases were in Beira city. Due to the coordinated response by the Government and the UN, by the second week of June, following WASH interventions and a cholera vaccination campaign, there was a notable decrease in registered cases after the last week of April and by the second week of June, the epidemic was declared over by the provincial health directorate.

Then on 25 April, Mozambique was hit by a second category 4 cyclone - Cyclone Kenneth. Cyclone Kenneth made landfall on Macomia district in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique; affecting about 373,000 people and destroying an estimated 45,000 houses and 19 health facilities. At least 3,000 people were displaced and about 45 people lost their lives. Currently there are 1,100 people living in two transit centres in Metuge and Pemba districts. A resettlement site has already been identified for the centre in Metuge, and work has already started with families scheduled to be relocated soon. However, for the centre in Pemba, the provincial government is still struggling to find a suitable resettlement site.

A cholera outbreak was also recorded in Cabo Delgado province in Pemba city and two other districts (Metuge and Mecufi). A total of 282 cholera cases were registered over the duration of the outbreak in the districts of Metuge, Mecufi and Pemba, with no deaths reported. In Cabo Delgado, damaged communication infrastructure (roads and telecommunication) and security concerns heavily constrained and continues to affect the delivery of humanitarian aid in the most affected districts. For example, in Macomia district about half of the population lives in inaccessible communities.
Aid in these areas was delivered mainly by air and only to the largest villages.