Angela, the Foundation’s Director, visited Idugo and Supinho in May to see for herself the damage caused in both villages by Cyclone Freddy.
Her first visit was to Idugo where she saw first hand the extensive damage clearly visible throughout the island. She heard how everyone together had helped to clear the fallen trees and houses so people could circulate.
She then met with local leaders and community representatives to find out about the situation and the community priorities in terms of reparations.
She first spoke to the children who expressed thanks and appreciation for the school materials received. This has enabled them to get back to school and attend lessons.
Next, she heard from the women, who spoke about the loss of their crops and their growing concerns about hunger due to the food shortage. They reported that no government aid was sent to the island for almost two months and when, finally, an aid package arrived, it was barely enough to provide a cup of rice per family. Some families were so insulted they refused to accept this offering.
The women requested food aid, rice, flour which are needed immediately, as well as seeds and farm implements to be able to plant and grow food to feed themselves and their families.
It was agreed that the Zalala Foundation will provide aid in the form of seeds and immediate implements to the most needy. It was agreed that the community will identify those in greatest need and propose the most urgently needed supplies to be included. In addition, the Foundation agreed to continue knocking on the doors of the humanitarian agencies to channel more aid to Idugo.
Next, we spoke to the community leaders and representatives, who said their main concern was the extensive damage to both schools. Classes are held in the open with no shelter from the intense sun.
Furthermore, the teacher’s houses have collapsed and they are currently in temporary accommodation provided by local families.
It was agreed that the Zalala Foundation will put rooves on the classrooms as a short term measure until funding can be found to rebuild the two schools. In addition, houses will be provided for the school teachers. The Foundation will provide building materials and pay local builders to build homes in the traditional style. This will enable teachers to stay on the island and resume their teaching role in the schools.