Two weeks after Cyclone Idai battered parts of Africa, the nature of relief is shifting from saving lives to rebuilding them. CGTN’s Angelo Coppola reports from the city of Beira, one of the hardest-hit parts of Mozambique.
With enough aid in the country now, agencies have created many temporary camps which are housing thousands upon thousands of displaced Mozambicans.
“Many of the families here have had homes that have been completely destroyed,” explained Corrie Butler, a spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “They’ve decided to stay in their homes due to many different reasons, and they’re wanting to rebuild their lives. So we are giving them some of these basic items just to help them get back onto feet. Includes things like tools, for building, tarpaulin.”
Camps around Beira are holding between 1,000 and 2,500 people per camp, and they need to be clothed and fed. The World Food Programme arrived in Beira 48 hours after the cyclone struck.
Gerrie Bourke, a spokesperson for the programme, said, “Now we are evolving. We are procuring large volumes of food for the medium term elsewhere in Southern Africa, in South Africa, in Zambia. We are shipping that food in, we are trucking that food into Mozambique. So we are really ramping up on the food side and we are in it for the long haul.”
The flood victims have been housed in all manner of temporary shelters, from churches to abandoned buildings, halls, and classrooms.
“These people is not this area,” said Luisa Shadreka of Care International Mozambique. “These people, the first time we are in schools. But now the minister for education said it’s necessary to start school. And then it’s necessary to allocate these people, keep the people in school, for the [companies].”
Their work is only beginning. It’s estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars will be needed to help rebuild this part of Mozambique.
That reality is not lost on Butler. “The needs here are really immense, and we need continued support for our work here,” she said. “We are really amazed by the amount of support coming from around the world. But we can do more.”