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Cyclone Idai response – we’re here for the long haul

By Andrew Horton | 28 Jun 2019

More than three months have passed since a devastating cyclone hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. We’ve been working with our partners to respond.

When Cyclone Idai made landfall on 15 March more than 740 people were killed. Almost 3 million people were suddenly in need of emergency aid.

Here’s an update from the three countries affected:

The hardest hit areas were around central Mozambique, where more than 600 people died and 1,600 were injured.

Tearfund has three partners responding in Sofala, Manica and Zambezia provinces, providing relief in some of the hardest to reach areas.

They’re distributing food, basic household goods, seeds and tools, as well as providing psychosocial support and access to clean water.

Getting help to people has been challenging as many roads were destroyed. There has also been concern at the spread of cholera after the disaster, but thankfully a large-scale outbreak hasn’t occurred – a real answer to prayer.

Malawi was struggling to recover from flooding caused by heavy rain in February when Cyclone Idai hit a month later.

More than 850,000 people were affected. Thousands were forced to flee their homes and move to temporary shelter in schools, churches, and community buildings. Over 60 per cent of those displaced are women and children.

As well as their homes, many families have lost their livelihoods – mostly crops and livestock.

Our partners Eagles and AG Care are working in villages that are far from the main roads, making it difficult for trucks carrying heavy relief items to reach people. They’re providing food, shelter, access to clean water and helping people recover their livelihoods.

Cyclone Idai hit the eastern part of Zimbabwe. In Chimanimani and Chipinge districts an estimated 250,000 people were affected, with 333 people confirmed dead.

The cyclone destroyed homes and livelihoods and damaged roads, bridges, schools and health centres. There was also significant damage to water supplies, increasing the risk of disease.

We are working with our local church partner, the Evangelical Fellowship Zimbabwe (EFZ), and the Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) to provide emergency relief with food, blankets, access to clean water and psychological support.


Lord of mercy,

Please move powerfully in the nations of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe as they recover from the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai. Heal the sick, comfort the brokenhearted, and provide for those who are desperate. Thank you for the work of all those who are providing essential supplies and support. We pray that you will keep them safe, and work through them to reach those in most need.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Written by

Written by Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.

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