CYCLONE FAVIO DISASTER RELIEF
Since the beginning of the year Mozambique has been experiencing local flooding, but by early February the situation had deteriorated significantly, and evacuation plans were being made.
By 9th February, the Government of Mozambique had reported that so far in the rainy season 61,000 people have been displaced, and 29 killed. In addition, 4,677 houses, 111 schools, 4 health centres and 15,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed as a result of flooding. And while the entire lower Zambesi was on high red alert suffering the worst flooding in 50 years, no formal declaration of a national disaster has been issued.
On Friday, February 23, a tropical cyclone FAVIO bearing 280kmh winds swept in from the Indian Ocean, tearing into central Mozambique.
The flooding situation in Mozambique is worsening, according to Mozambique’s top disaster official who said that a number of the evacuation centers cannot be accessed by road and supplies must be airlifted. “Some 4,000 people could lose their lives if they do not receive drinking water and food soon”, Paolo Zucula stated. “They are starving and some diseases such as malaria and cholera are looming,” he added.
On Monday, Mozambique’s national disaster agency said that the worst may be yet to come as the rainy season draws on.
300,000 Mozambicans now must “survive” on dirty water, little food, and minimal hope. Daily life has been replaced with daily fear of water-borne diseases and starvation. 100,000 children are at risk … living in crowded, makeshift camps that don’t have enough food.
On Saturday 24th February, FTH put relief efforts into motion to rush aid to our ministry partners in Mozambique, starting with a quarter-million meal packs trucked up from storage facilities in neighboring Swaziland.
YOU CAN HELP!
In addition to emergency supplies being trucked in from Swaziland, FTH is sending more than 200 tons of relief supplies. Iris Ministries in Mozambique stands ready to receive these containers of rice meal packs, vegetables, soup mixes, and dried fruits. This food that will prevent a catastrophe and extend God’s love to people who have just lost everything.
The food will be distributed through their network of IRIS churches still standing in the disaster area, some 400 churches, and HELO support has been secured to airlift supplies into the remotest areas.
FTH will be sending to Mozambique
- 4 additional containers of fortified rice meal packs a Total of 1.083 million servings
- 1 container of canned beans
- 1 container of canned black-eyed peas
- 1 mixed container: ½ milled yellow corn (in 12kg bags), ½ canned greens
- 3 mixed containers of dehydrated soup mix and dried fruits
We have more relief supplies in the pipeline from donor companies and expect that they will continue to need our help for some time.
These containers contain food valued at AUD$633,000, FTH urgently needs to raise AUD$93,000 to cover the costs of shipping this food.
Your gift today will help send the containers on their way. Please give generously and immediately.
Iris Ministries is a solid ministry partner who we have worked with in the past. In response to the disastrous floods of 2000-2001, they coordinated the distribution of over 2.3 million kilograms of food and relief supplies sent by Feed The Hungry among numerous IDP camps.
In addition to food, people were hungry for hope and the Word of God. As a result of the floods and subsequent relief ministry, Iris was able to plant 5,000 new churches nationally since that time. Before the 2000-2001 floods they had about 250 orphans in their care, today they take care of about 6,000 orphans.
Iris Ministry teams will share the Word of God and pray for those receiving help. They have about 400 local churches still standing in the storm affected areas; local church leaders will minister the Gospel to the people during each distribution. Their team in Marrumbula reported on Saturday that 30,000 displaced people have assembled into a makeshift camp there alone.
Heidi Baker from Iris Ministries spoke with Stefan Radelich on Friday 23rd February. Iris Ministries had about 300 churches either destroyed or severely damaged in the affected areas. Her leaders in the area told her that they had never heard the people screaming and wailing… tens of thousands of people were displaced and lost their homes and belongings. Schools, stores, and hospitals literally had their roofs ripped off by the 280 kilometer per hour winds.
One good piece of news, is due to flooding which had began at the start of the year the death toll was very low as the government was already mobilised to deal with upcoming disaster and many people were already evacuated. At last count there were only 40 fatalities compared to 1000 during the floods in 2000-2001 floods.
The bad news is that Mozambique is the tenth poorest nation in the world with 2/3rds of the population living under the poverty level. The average life expectancy at birth is just 38 years, so these people who lost their homes and possession have little to rebuild their lives with and little to survive the next several months.
MOZAMBIQUE PROFILE IN BRIEF
- Two-thirds of Mozambicans live in absolute poverty.
- Life expectancy at birth is just 38 years.
- Mozambique is the tenth poorest nation in the world.
- 2,000 people per day are pouring into crowded refugee camps in central Mozambique at present.
- 240,000 people have been displaced in total.
- 1.3 million orphans live in Mozambique.
“It is rare for a country to be hit by two massive and simultaneous emergencies within such a short period of time,” said the Head of UNICEF in Mozambique, Leila Pakkala.
“The response has been express and effective” said Pakkala, “but it must be stressed that this can only continue while resources and actions on the ground are maintained.”