Emergency aid being rushed to southeast Africa after Cyclone Idai

World Today

Emergency aid being rushed to southeast Africa after Cyclone Idai

The scale of the devastation is growing in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. U.N. officials said the storm may be one of the worst weather-related disasters ever in the Southern Hemisphere. CGTN’s Daniel Arapmoi reports from Malawi on how communities are dealing with the floods there.

Hundreds of thousands of people are currently stranded in southern Malawi following heavy rains and floods that have devastated the region. The floods have left an overwhelming number of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

So far, the floods have affected over 900,000 people in 14 districts, displacing over 16,000 households, mainly in the Southern region. Key concerns among the flood victims are emergency shelter, clean water and medical supplies.

“So far the government has provided food, its also providing shelter and in collaboration with some partners, its also trying to provide some water, tents, even medication to the people that have been displaced,” said Reinghard Chavula, a commissioner in the Nsanje district.

The Malawian government is trying to mobilize resources to aid the flood victims but humanitarian assistance remain in short supply.

The extent and severity of the current flooding in Southern Malawi are overwhelming relief organizations, leaving many struggling to respond in areas that are hard to reach. Government officials on the ground say the situation is becoming unbearable given the unprecedented levels of destruction.

“We don’t have enough food at all, so we need a lot of food,” explained Isaac Falakeza, a camp manager. “We don’t know, perhaps the lorries we see here has food that will be distributed to us because up to now we haven’t received any food at all”.

With more rains expected to fall south of the country, the affected families can only hope for a rapid intervention from aid agencies.

Carlos Mejia on the rescue efforts following Cyclone Idai

The extent of the damage from Cyclone Idai is unclear, but millions in southeast Africa have been affected. CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Programs and Policy Director Carlos Mejia to find out if the ongoing search and rescue efforts are enough.