News

RedR Responds: Cyclone Idai

On Thursday 14 March, one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere made landfall in the port city of Beira, Mozambique. Wind speeds of up to 106 mph and storm-surge floods of up to six metres caused severe flooding and wreaked havoc across the region, destroying homes and devastating crops, infrastructure and livelihoods.

At least 847 people have been reported killed by Cyclone Idai and the associated flooding across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. More than 3 million people have been affected, mostly in Mozambique.   

The Cyclone has hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Rural communities who were already facing severe food insecurity and economic hardships have seen their homes and livelihoods destroyed. Now as the flood waters recede, many thousands of survivors are at risk from deadly waterborne diseases such as cholera and malaria. Storm damage has destroyed pipelines and contaminated wells, leaving survivors without access to safe, clean drinking water. A month on from the disaster, the number of reported cholera cases in Mozambique has risen to 3,161.   

RedR UK Members are on the ground, responding to the emergency and we are also offering free, expert technical advice through online Q&A platform, KnowledgePoint. Staffed by a team of 150 experts, the platform is available 24/7 to aid workers on the ground, offering expert, technical advice to questions on WASH, Shelter and much more.   

Members of the rescue team offload a body retrieved from areas flooded in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.
Members of the rescue team offload a body retrieved from areas flooded in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.

Life-saving training for national aid workers

The impact of climate change means that the frequency and severity of such storms are likely to increase in the future. Vulnerable communities need the skills and knowledge to protect themselves against future disasters.  Thanks to a generous response to our emergency appeal and support from Lloyds, RedR UK is working with local partners MICAIA to provide essential humanitarian training to national aid workers in Mozambique.  

Since 2008 MICAIA has enabled tens of thousands of people to take action to improve their livelihoods, enhance their management of available resources, and increase their engagement in society.

The organisation is based in Chimoio, Manica Province, close to Beira, which suffered the worst impact of the cyclone.  Many families have lost their houses, and in Gondola, an important food production area, up to 7,000 hectares of smallholder maize fields were destroyed. Andrew Kingman, the managing director of MICAIA, explains the need for training:   

“We have a committed staff team of people who know the communities in which we work, and we have a wide network of local contacts –farmers and beekeepers, community leaders, facilitators and trainers. What we do not have is the knowledge and skills to respond adequately to the current crisis. First, we must respond to the pressing need for assistance in the communities in which we work. We need to understand how to manage aid distribution and how to respond to people dealing with trauma. When the aid phase is over, we need to ensure our team has the skills to work with people as they rebuild shattered lives.”

Andrew Kingman,

Managing director, MICAIA

Rebuild and Recover

RedR UK puts the development of national humanitarian organisations and national aid workers in disaster-affected countries at the forefront of our work. This approach helps to ensure that vital skills and knowledge remain in-country, where they’re needed most, for the long-term. Andrew Kingman explains how the training offered by RedR UK will help support MICAIA’s work, and other national aid organisations on the ground, giving them the skills to respond to the immediate crisis and to support the vulnerable communities as they recover:   

“As a well-known local organisation, we have both an opportunity and perhaps a responsibility, to reach out beyond our own area of operation and link with other similar local organisations whose local knowledge and capacity are often overlooked in such crises – in part because, like MICAIA, they lack the appropriate skills to engage. For the longer-term we will focus our efforts on helping people – family and small businesses, voluntary and community services – re-establish themselves. This is not just about money; it is about understanding and being equipped to deal with the psychological and other challenges that people will face as they try to rebuild their lives.”

Andrew Kingman,

Managing director, MICAIA

Please donate

Click here to donate today and help us provide vital training to local aid workers in Mozambique, giving them the skills and knowledge to reach communities devastated by Cyclone Idai.

Your support will mean that these life-saving skills stay in-country, helping vulnerable communities to rebuild their homes and strengthen their resilience to future disasters.

Your donation today will help affected communities not just today, but for generations to come. Thank you.

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