The wide road that runs into the port city of Beira and is usually crammed with motorcycles, cars and trucks is still completely destroyed. Almost a week after the cyclone “Idai” hit Mozambique, the city of 500,000 is still only accessible via the port and the airport. In many parts of the city there is still water, mostly in the poorer areas.
Beira was built in a wetland and some neighborhoods are below sea level. As is often the case, the poorest of them, living in their huts made of basic materials, were hit hardest “The people who had hardly anything before, now have nothing at all,” says Michael Schlüssel, Cap Anamur’s logistics specialist on site.
During the first tours around Beira and the surrounding area, the Cap Anamur emergency team was able to get a first impression of the situation. Everywhere houses are de-roofed, trees and electricity pylons are snapped and entire warehouses and factories destroyed. In many places people are busy with the reconstruction. Electricity is only available where a generator is available. The public water supply is not working. Tent accommodations are set-up in several districts. Yesterday he had a small house, today he has to dry his few belonging in the streets of Beira.
On small islands people are waiting for rescue
Flooded hut in the countryside near Beira. However, the largest flood area is located west of the city of Beira, along the river Pungwe. Many of the people who lived here are still stuck on small islands that formed after the flooding and can only be supplied by helicopter and boat. Initially, these people were brought to Beira, but since the city, which has been completely destroyed, has reached its limits in terms of accommodating refugees, they are now being provided for where they are encountered. In small tents and supplied with the most important relief goods, people are now waiting on the islands.
Although a huge area is still flooded, the water levels are slowly receding. This area is referred to as the country’s breadbasket and short and medium term impacts on food safety are expected.
There is much to do
The need in Mozambique is enormous and there is a lot to do for our small local team. We are commencing our emergency aid with acute medical care in the port city of Beira and the restoration of wells. Should the city remain without clean water in the long term, diseases and epidemics such as cholera could spread because of the contaminated water and this issue needs be avoided. In consultation with the Ministry of Health, we also want to take care of the reconstruction and care of a hospital.