PEMBA (April 29, 2019) — CARE’s emergency responders have scaled efforts to support affected communities with lifesaving assistance in the hard-hit province of Cabo Delgado in Mozambique. Thousands of families have had their houses and livelihoods destroyed by Cyclone Kenneth induced floods and are in dire need of food and shelter.
“In collaboration with our partners, we have already released a stock of about 1,300 tarpaulins that were distributed to the families in need,” said Daw Mohamed, CARE’s humanitarian director. “CARE is also bringing in more supplies including family kits, tents, and hygiene and wash supplies to ensure that that the affected have the basics to survive.
“So far, we have only reached a fraction of those in need due to our limited budget and the challenges in reaching the affected by road as most of the countryside is flooded. Our key priority for now is to support women and children, who are sleeping in open spaces where they are vulnerable to different types of gender-based violence and harassment,” Mohamed explained.
Four days after Cyclone Kenneth made landfall, the northern parts of Mozambique continue to receive heavy rains and winds which are causing extensive flooding. Many houses - especially the traditional mud-and-pole huts that are common here - were swept away. Those remaining are falling apart as torrential rains continue to batter the region.
According to the U.N., and the local authorities, more than 35,100 houses have been destroyed. Some 165,000 people are in need of humanitarian support according to authorities; with aid agencies saying and their response stock is fast depleting in the aftermath of the twin disasters.
"It's been raining hard for three days now,” Mohamed said. “Our primary concern is the welfare and safety of women and girls. Many of the mothers we have met are overwhelmed as they try to fend for their children. Yesterday, I met and spoke to women who were feeding their children unripe lemons as there was nothing else to eat. Our teams also saw women who were cutting some wet grass in the flooded fields to use as roofing cover for their damaged houses.
“These additional responsibilities will very likely put women into positions of vulnerability and expose them to various types of gender-based violence and harassment. CARE wants to be able to support these women as soon as possible to avoid that,” he added.
Despite ongoing work, existing relief resources are not adequate for CARE to reach out to the most affected people. “CARE urgently needs additional resources to tackle this situation that has affected thousands of people in northern Mozambique,” Mohamed said. “We are calling upon our donors for support to enable us to deal with this devastating situation.”