Aid agencies in Mozambique, including World Vision, are on stand-by to respond to a potentially lethal cyclone – the second to hit the country in two months.
Cyclone Kenneth is lashing northern Mozambique after rapidly intensifying into a Category Four storm, making it the most severe storm to hit that part of the country since records began.
Last month (March 14) Cyclone Idai hit central Mozambique devastating the region, killing more than 700 people, leaving 90 percent of the city of Beira damaged or destroyed and wiping out agricultural land in Mozambique. One million children were impacted.
“We are hoping that this cyclone does not have the impact that Idai had and we’re especially concerned about what happens to children,” Cyclone Idai response director, Jeff Wright, warned.
“Cyclone Idai has shown just how vulnerable people are to these kinds of disasters which tear down homes, destroy crops, displace hundreds of thousands of people and force untold numbers of children out of schools that are damaged or that become evacuation centres.”
Cyclone Kenneth is currently hitting the north coast of Mozambique in Cabo Delgado province. It’s expected to bring heavy rains and floods for several days.
World Vision has pre-positioned relief items available should they be needed and put staff on standby, to be deployed if the situation warrants it. Aid workers are also partnering with the UN, IFRC, and key NGOs should an emergency response be required.
The cyclone touch down point is over 1,000 kilometres north of where Cyclone Idai hit and would require a second zone of operations to be launched, in an area that is considered unstable due security concerns associated with a local insurgency. Any response is likely to be in coordination with local agencies that are already present.
Aid agencies and the government are working constantly to respond to the current crisis and resources are already stretched.
“Our staff in Nampula province are currently hibernating to sit out the storm as it reaches its most dangerous point and as soon as it is safe to do so will be finding out what impact the cyclone has had. We are on standby to respond if needed,” World Vision Mozambique National Director, Wagner Herrman, said.
Yesterday the head of Mozambican National Institute for Disaster Management, Ms Augusta Maita, declared that her institute would need US$1.5m to assist to around 127,000 thousand people who would potentially be affected by the storm. Local radio is disseminating information to encourage people to evacuate at-risk areas.
In response to Cyclone Idai, World Vision has already distributed non-food items such as tarps, blankets and jerry cans, to 40,000 affected people, provided food rations to about 100,000 people, opened 10 child friendly spaces and handed out 10,000 hygiene kits. World Vision has been present in Mozambique since 1983 and aside from the response has operations in four of eleven provinces.