The death toll from Cyclone Kenneth rose to 38 today, but aid workers fear that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Nicholas Finney, Save the Children’s response team leader for both cyclones, is in Pemba and has witnessed the Cyclone Kenneth’s devastation on the ground.
“Both cyclones have shattered families and destroyed livelihoods. The loss of life is devastating. Those who were already living on the brink of poverty have now been left with nothing. With donations dwindling, we’re facing a critical situation.
“Our team is doing their best to deliver much-needed support to affected communities despite resources already running low, but this new disaster is making this task much more difficult. The humanitarian needs in Mozambique in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth are significant and life-threatening, and we need donors to dig deep now, while we still have time to save lives.”
Tina, 30, lost her daughter Fatima when their home collapsed. “Yesterday morning I went to see the damage to my house with three of my children. When I arrived at home we went inside and that’s when the house collapsed. The wall fell on my children,” Tina told Save the Children’s response team.
“After the wall fell down, the first thing I did was call the neighbours and they started to remove the wall and they started shovelling the bricks and dirt to find the children. When we found the children, we took them to the hospital. Unfortunately, one of my children died. I am very sad because of what happened. My heart is hurting.
“I need three things. I need food to feed my children. I need a house because it fell down and I don’t have a place to stay. The last thing is I need help to bury my child.”
The humanitarian response to Cyclone Idai is still largely underfunded. With Cyclone Kenneth more catastrophic than expected, Mozambique will require more resources for immediate life-saving relief and recovery.
Save the Children responded to Cyclone Kenneth on Saturday, distributing emergency shelter materials and deploying specialists in health and children protection. More relief materials are on their way. So far, in response to Idai and Kenneth, Save the Children operates six clinics run by its Emergency Health Unit, and it established 10 child-friendly spaces and 26 temporary learning centres that have reached more than 9,500 children. Save the Children has also distributed food to more than 67,000 people.
For media inquiries contact Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918.