Idai was the strongest cyclone (hurricane) on record in the Southern Hemisphere. The cyclone struck the coast of Mozambique on March 14th with sustained winds of 110 mph. The port city of Beira was 90% destroyed. The storm flooded a vast inland region, turning rivers into an inland sea. In addition to Mozambique, the rains also affected Zimbabwe and Malawi. The World Bank estimates rebuilding may cost more than $2 billion.
The death toll from Cyclone Idai, which struck the coast of Mozambique near the port city of Beira, has climbed above 1,000, with more than 2 million affected by the storm, Reuters reports. Power grids, hospitals, ports were destroyed. Regional trade and supplies of fuel, wheat and other goods have been disrupted. Hunger and drinking water are the biggest challenge even a month after the storm.
Our friend, Barbara Hofmann and her organization, ASEM have been serving the children and their families with schools, food and support for 40 years. She started and oversees the 4 centers. The 2 Beira-based centers have been virtually destroyed.
Here is the latest news from Barbara:
APRIL 14, 2019
One month after Idai
April 14, 2019, it will be one month that IDAI changed our lives. Lives to rebuild, wounds to cure, traumas to heal, cholera that kills and deaths to be buried. Communication and electricity are still a problem in Beira; unstable and inexistent from time to time. I imagine that by now the media hardly talks about it, but in the field, lives are suffering and struggling for survival.
Please share and help!!
The number one problem is still hunger and drinking water. Tap water is infected. There is a product called "Certeza" to purify water, but for small bottle the price changed days ago from 35 MET (0.55 USD) to 60 MET (0.95 USD) and it is often difficult to find it at the market. Just to give an idea, 60 METs relate to a salary of 3 to 5 hours working for most people.
"Certeza" is partially distributed free to a number of people. However, most of the population cannot afford it. The official aid coordination organization distributes a kit of 2 kg of rice, half a liter of oil, etc. to many families, what is enough for some meals. Much has been done but the need is still enormous. Most ASEM beneficiaries did not benefit from the official distribution program.
As requested by the Ministry of Education, the school started a week after IDAI hit Beira. ASEM managed to cover part of the school's roofs with plastic and recovered material. The children are back at school. We have begun distributing a basic food and hygiene kit to our beneficiaries. Our goal is to help our beneficiaries to restart their "normal" life and proceed on their own, but there is still a long way to go.
Next week we will have meetings with the community of our affected beneficiaries, to involve women in the school kitchen that will allow us to give our students a daily meal. We will keep you informed.
Thanks to many people who help ASEM, we can help our beneficiaries. However, many more people still need our support and despite the exhaustion and fatigue of our staff, ASEM is like a mother who never abandons her children.
Please share and invite your community to help! Together we can create a better world for ourselves and for everyone.
From the heart,
Barbara and the Children.