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28 March 2023

Cyclone Freddy Update

After nearly two weeks, our team were finally able to find a way to reach the island of Idugo. There they saw evidence of even more widespread destruction than in Supinho. The Administrator provided an overview of the damage. In total, 3,456 houses have been damaged. The local leaders estimate that 11,176 people have been adversely affected by the cyclone.

Among the losses were the school, the church and the teacher’s house

the school teachers’ house

The church

The school

The maternity centre was thankfully largely undamaged.

However, the centre has been without light and water since the cyclone struck the area on the night of 11th March when both solar panels linked to the water tower were destroyed by the storm.

Cholera and Malaria Outbreak

The lack of water has led to an increase in the cases of malaria and life-threatening diarrhea and this situation is likely to get worse the longer it continues. The cholera hospital in Quelimane town is at full capacity undermining government attempts to prevent the rapid spread of these diseases.

Food shortages

Rice and other food crops have been destroyed and, unless NGOs step, the people in the area face a serious threat of hunger.

The Government and NGO Response

The Government has been praised for having issued clear warnings and advice to people in advance of the cyclone. People were advised to place heavy rocks on the thatch of their houses to prevent the roof being swept away by the cyclone. Many rooves were saved as a result. However, the response in terms of emergency food and aid has been slow.

The Muslim community has sent aid in the form of basic food supplies and domestic utensils to the predominantly Muslim Supinho community. However, a full 3 weeks after the cyclone, Idugo has not received any form of aid or assistance.

The international NGO community have met twice to share information and a response strategy will be discussed decided next week. The World Food Programme and Christian Council of Mozambique have declared their intention to provide relief, but as yet nothing has been received. The response has been greatly hampered by the severe weather conditions, the destruction of many of the main roads, the lack of power and the lack of internet. The city of Quelimane resembled a war zone and was plunged into total darkness for several weeks. Finally, as of 27th March, almost 3 weeks since the cyclone struck on the 10th March, electricity and water supplies been restored to houses and offices in the town and the work of reconstruction can finally begin.

Your help is desperately needed!

People have been without food and shelter for weeks now and we need to get help to them as soon as possible. The only other organisation that is on the ground in Supinho is the port company, TML (Thai Mocambique Logistica) that is responsible for the community resettlement scheme for those affected by the planned port construction in Supinho. They provided some emergency supplies in the first week after the cyclone. The Foundation Team is discussing ways of collaborating with TML to respond to the emergency in both Supinho and Idugo. We hope to persuade them to extend the support provided.

The priorities identified to date by the team are:

We are appealing to all our supporters to make a donation and to spread the word around to friends as well.