The tropical storm which hit Mozambique on Wednesday 15 February will have a long-term impact on thousands of families across the region, according to Tearfund. Tropical storm Dineo swept across the southern coast of the country, severely damaging 20,000 homes and displacing 140,000 people. Currently seven people have lost their lives as a result of the storm, with high winds and heavy rainfall destroying houses, schools, ripped up crops and forced thousands to flee their homes.
Mozambique is one of the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries which endures a harrowing cycle of scorching droughts and severe flooding, affecting millions of people every year. Much of the soil has degraded or been hardened by dry spells which prevents water absorption.
Tearfund’s Head of East and Southern Africa, Donald Mavunduse, said ‘Mozambique has been blighted by devastating weather - cyclones, storms and severe droughts for many years, making people extremely vulnerable. This storm will hit people particularly hard, both right now, but also for the long-term. Huge numbers of people have been displaced, with crops affected, houses torn down, schools damaged, livestock drowned. This will mean thousands going without food, clean water and a means of income for several months. Our local partners are currently assessing the damage in the villages affected and to see where we can offer immediate and longer-term assistance. We will be concentrating our efforts on those with greatest need - such as those with HIV, or those not currently supported by other agencies or the government. Please pray for the people of Mozambique as they struggle to recover from the aftermath of the storm.’
Tearfund’s Earnest Maswera, Country Representative in Mozambique tells us: ‘The area where Tearfund work has not been directly hit but we are anxious to help our brothers and sisters in the neighbouring district. Communications have gone down in several areas where the storm has hit, but in the coming days we will be working out how best to support through our partners, the Ecumenical Committee for Social Economic Development (CEDES) and Rede Crista Contra HIV/SIDA (RCHS)’.
Since 1987 Tearfund has been working in Mozambique with eight partners including groups of churches and church networks. Partners work to help prevent the spread of HIV, strengthen livelihoods, provide clean water, increase food security and help communities better prepare for disasters.
- Pray for those whose homes have been damaged, that they would find shelter and support.
- Pray for the long-term rebuilding efforts and that communities would become more resilient to these types of weather conditions.
- Ask God to continue to guide and protect Tearfund’s staff and partners in Mozambique.
Notes to editors