Cyclone Idai: the real picture on the ground


An ActionAid Australia team member shares an eyewitness account from Mozambique.

School books abandoned in a house. A child’s bicycle buried under the rubble. Corn seeds gathered by a family who have managed to salvage them from their house, which they need to survive on for one week. These are the images gathered from Beira, Mozambique, by ActionAid emergency workers in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.

Leocadio Dira from ActionAid Australia is on the ground in Beira, where he grew up. After joining the ActionAid emergency response team, he was also reunited with his father, Ezequiel who remembers the day vividly.

Cyclone Idai Leo and father

“The devastation was quite huge…as you walk around you see that all houses have been affected. I am yet to see at least one house with the rooftop intact. Hospitals have been hit hardest. My friends are telling me that all those who were in intensive care did not survive.

“When you pass through the city you can’t help but cry.”

Although the worst of the storm may have dissipated since hitting Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on 15th March, a major humanitarian emergency continues to unfold in southern Africa as survivors begin the painful task of rebuilding their lives.

With little clean water available, cholera cases have been reported and there is a high risk of outbreaks of other diseases.

“The cholera outbreak is spreading fear among the city,” adds Leocadio.

“Those who can afford are buying bottled water.”

ActionAid’s local staff and partners continue to work on the ground providing assistance, whilst also ensuring the needs of women and children are protected.

In Sofala, the most affected province, their focus is on a range of activities – from the distribution of dignity kits and establishing Women Friendly Spaces to building the capacity of women leaders and ensuring their food and educational supplies are secure. It is expected this support will continue for at least six months.

You can show your solidarity and support them, by making a donation to the Emergency Cyclone Idai Appeal today.


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