Survivors of Cyclone Idai face shortages of clean water and food and are at risk of waterbourne diseases due to contaminated flood water. (Photo: Sergio Zimba / Oxfam)
Updated on 23 August 2019
Your action can stop an emergency turning into a major crisis.
On 14-15 March 2019, Cyclone Idai slammed into Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, devastating the lives of about 2.6 million people across the three countries and claiming the lives of over 1,000. Barely six weeks on, Cyclone Kenneth – the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Mozambique in modern history – tore through northern Mozambique, affecting a further 160,000 and killing 40.
Aid workers supporting the survivors of Cyclone Idai are doing all they can to fight cholera – with well over 6,000 cases reported to date – and reach survivors with life-saving aid. Millions of lives have been devastated across the three countries, and countless people are still left destitute without food or basic services. The Presidents of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have all declared this a national disaster; UN Secretary General, António Guterres, also declared this ‘one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa’.
Oxfam's Immediate Response
As of the end of July 2019, Oxfam has reached over 468,000 people. Over the past few months, we have:
- Provided safe drinking water and emergency food
- Provided emergency shelter
- Installed latrines and water pumps and distributed hygiene items including water purifying tablets, buckets, soaps, etc.
- Trained volunteers to help communities understand the importance of the vaccine and how to prevent the spread of disease
We are also helping recover people's livelihoods, prevent water-borne diseases, and protect displaced people, with a key focus on women and children. We will support vulnerable households in the region in a variety of ways. For instance, we will:
- Support alternative cropping options for the winter months
- Rehabilitate broken boreholes and pipelines to ensure long term access to clean water
- Rehabilitate communal toilets and bathrooms and conduct hygiene promotion activities to prevent water borne diseases
- Train community volunteers to raise awareness of gender-based violence in evacuation centres and the communities
The HKSAR Government’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) made two grants to Oxfam Hong Kong (OHK) totalling HK$11,943,000 to support its emergency response to the cyclones in Southern Africa.
In this disaster, OHK received HK$5,289,000 in funding from the DRF on 11 April 2019 to purchase supplies, which will reach 4,730 flood-affected families in Malawi. The grant will ensure that each targeted family will receive a household kit and a hygiene kit, which includes a set of tarpaulin and ground sheets, two mosquito nets, two blankets, cooking utensils, and personal hygiene items such as buckets, chlorination tables to purify water, soap and sanitation pads.
On 17 May 2019, OHK received HK$6,654,000 in funding from the DRF to purchase supplies. This will help OHK reach 3,000 flood-affected families in Mozambique. All targeted households will receive one household kit and one hygiene kit. In addition, one temporary toilet construction kit and one toilet cleaning tool kit will be distributed to every five families.
The DRF requires that its funding be used for this specific disaster, in accordance with the funding application submitted by OHK and approved by the DRF. After the completion of OHK’s relief work, an evaluation will be carried out, and an evaluation and financial report (including an external audit report) will be submitted to the DRF.
‘I signed up to work at Oxfam to save lives’
"Beira resembles a city at war: homes have been razed to the ground as if bombed from the air; some are submerged in water; roofs have been blown away; trees uprooted, and fields and crops flooded "
Stewart Muchapera, Oxfam Media and Communications Lead writing from Beira in MozambiqueRead more
Saving lives in Mozambique
"It is very challenging for the affected countries to fully recover from such a devastating natural disaster. People’s lives are still in danger and your help is urgently needed.”
Kate Lee, Senior Officer - Humanitarian and Disaster Risk ManagementRead more (Chinese Version only)
Three Months On
Sizelito (24) lives with his wife and a new-born baby in Movo village which is around 13 km away the distribution site. “It is very difficult for my wife and my baby without enough food. I’m glad that I can have more food after plating the vegetable seeds. The short harvest should due in September.” (Photo: Ko Chung Ming / Oxfam Volunteer Photographer)
Three Months On
63-year-old Banligana lives alone, with physical challenge. The community member helps her to reach the distribution site. “I received flour and rice from the government and receive the hygiene and household kits from Oxfam. I like all the items inside the kits. (Photo: Ko Chung Ming / Oxfam Volunteer Photographer)
Three Months On
The boreholes enable families to access safe water. Before the construction of the borehole, Mary Gawani needed to walk two hours to collect water. “I am glad that I can now spend more time with my children and take care of our house instead of the long trek to collect water,” says Mary Gawani. (Photo: Ko Chung Ming / Oxfam Volunteer Photographer)
Oxfam's Immediate Response
Watertrucker Miosés Domingos (Wateraid), is filling the bladders that Oxfam has contributed and elevated. The bladders can contain 10,000 litres of water and are refilled twice a day, which is enough to provide 2,000 families with their emergency water needs. (Photo: Micas Mondlane / Oxfam Novib)