Cyclone Kenneth causes further destruction in storm-ravaged Mozambique

IBO (April 26, 2019) – A CARE team reports widespread destruction in the northern province of Cabo Delgado where Cyclone Kenneth made landfall yesterday, a little more than a month after the country experienced its deadliest cyclone.

Cyclone Kenneth had sustained winds of 220 kph (140 mph), equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane. It marks the first time two cyclones have hit Mozambique during the same season, the United Nations said.

Initial assessments show that 99 percent of Ibo district has been destroyed. The region, part of the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique, is yet to have any assistance with more than 100,000 people affected.

Daw Mohammed, CARE’s director of humanitarian operations, said: 

We gather that most of the infrastructure - including commercial facilities and farms have been significantly destroyed. Worryingly, it is still raining heavily and this is raising the risk of flooding.

The government established about 20 evacuation centers in the region's main city, Pemba. Mohammed added:

However, they require planes to make aerial assessments because the affected areas are not accessible by road.

While the area impacted by cyclone Kenneth is less populated than that affected by cyclone Idai, it has higher levels of poverty. Some 700,000 people were in the path of the most recent storm. The immediate needs are around food, shelter, water and sanitation, as well as protection of women and girls.

CARE is making plans – together with other partners – to support the affected communities and is moving available stocks of shelter kits to the affected area.

Mozambique is still reeling from Cyclone Idai which struck last month killing over 600 people. Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged by flooding and over 73,000 people are in shelters. Cholera cases spiked quickly and the storm destroyed crops. Worse, there is not enough funding to meet the growing needs.

Saul Butters, CARE’s assistant country director in Mozambique, explained:

A lot of our resources have already been used in Cyclone Idai in response and most of our human resources and most of our funding is focused there at the moment so this is the last thing we needed.

Cyclone Kenneth also came at the beginning of the harvest season. Butters added:

The rains and floods could wash out fields leaving farmers with no food or income. It will be next April before we have any significant food source and that will be a huge problem for the next year.

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