Cholera hits Cyclone Kenneth ravaged districts in Mozambique

Pemba/London – CARE is mobilizing resources to respond to the latest cholera outbreak in the northern Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado. Sustained rains caused by Cyclone Kenneth have led to the destruction of sanitation facilities as well as the contamination of most sources of drinking water.

Daw Mohamed, Humanitarian Director for CARE International said:

From our previous experience responding to Cyclone Idai (which struck Mozambique in March 2019), we anticipated such a situation to happen. We have already mobilized hygiene kits and sanitation supplies, which will be in the affected districts imminently. However, the needs remain more than we handle so massive support is required in funds, expertise and resources. CARE is scaling up its efforts and committing more staff to support the affected people to ensure that we help to curb the disease before it spreads further.

Assessments by CARE and its partners, early in the week, show that many people in the affected districts are drinking water from unprotected wells. A recent visit to the cyclone ravaged island of Matemo showed that all four water points on the island were contaminated. This is exposing the affected communities to cholera and other waterborne diseases such as acute watery diarrhea. Mohamed added:

The situation is dire, and we need to move in fast if we are to avert an outbreak as one that hit Beira in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. However, we are still struggling to access some of the areas especially the islands as they can only be reachable by air. This is a big logistical challenge, which can only be surmounted if we get more funding and aerial support. Currently, we are running on a tight budget despite the growing humanitarian needs.

The city of Beira registered nearly 4,000 cholera cases after Cyclone Idai hit the country, which caused several deaths. The threat of cholera has also been lurking in Cabo Delgado since Kenneth made landfall last week, with organizations such as CARE pre-positioning supplies to respond to a likely outbreak.

So far, CARE and its partners are shipping in water and sanitation items such as buckets, water treatment chemicals, which will be distributed to areas that are inaccessible by road, with shelter specialists on hand to offer technical services during the response.

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