Caritas Mozambie: Impact of Cyclone Idai could be worst crisis in decades

Cyclone idai has caused unprecedented havoc in southern Africa. Vast areas of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe are under water and cut off from the world. Government predicts that there are more than 1,000 deaths.

“They have lost everything and those who were poorer are getting poorer.” -Antonio Anosso, humanitarian officer for Caritas Mozambique

Strong winds, severe flooding and landslides have brought horrific destruction and damages to infrastructure, including school and sanitation services. Most people do not have access to clean water, this results to heightened risk of water-borne diseases particularly among children.

Caritas Mutare has distributed food items to displaced families who are staying at the Catholic Church in Ngangu. “So far, the church is housing 65 adults and 35 children. Others are coming to church for food assistance and we give and share with them. The fear is that we are running out of food to help our people. Many people are now homeless including children who no longer have parents or guardians to take care of them,” says Godwin Mundiripo, St John’s Church in Ngangu.

Caritas Mozambique is distributing food aid in Beira, and shipment of 1,500 tarps have arrived.

“No organisaton has brought in aid yet due to our road conditions. I urge Caritas to swiftly come in with any form of assistance to help our people…The situation is horrific”, says M. Tawona Nengomasha, local district administration.


Isabel Daniel, 28, had to wait for five days on the roof of a building with three hundred others before being rescued. She took the flood water around her, boiled and drank it to survive. It was a miracle that someone had dry firewood enough to make fire.

Her children cannot swim, she held them close all those five days fearing they would fall into the water.

“We are still alive.”

How you can help with cyclone Idai emergency

Help Caritas Mozambique provide urgent aid of food, iron sheets, water and sanitation, shelter and seeds

Local school as temporary shelter in Beira, Mozambique

Photos by Joost Bastmeijer/Caritas