Geneva: As flood-waters from Cyclone Idai recede, the scale of the devastation left behind is becoming clearer, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have said. According to the international organisation, some of the hardest hit communities remain cut off from outside assistance.
Tens of thousands of people are homeless, and hundreds of families have been separated. In order to support communities reeling from the storm in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, the International Committee of the Red Cross is working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and national Red Cross societies to provide assistance.
Hicham Mandoudi, who is leading the ICRC’s relief efforts from Chimoio, Mozambique, said, “As we reached remote communities cut-off by flooding and landslides, we are struck by the resilience that people have despite the tremendous hardship. “We are rapidly deploying our teams of water, livelihoods and health specialists to assess and address their immediate needs.” Stephen Fonseca, the ICRC’s forensics specialist on the ground in Mozambique, stated, “The challenge for us is that the burials are very shallow. It’s not a burial as much as a clump of trees and debris that people put on the body.
Very soon that would be moved by the wind, the rain and the water, so that body will just reappear and require another more permanent burial.” In an operational update, the ICRC detailed how many of the most affected areas are still not reachable by vehicle in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The destruction of key roads, bridges and other infrastructure makes it complicated for humanitarian agencies to reach them. Teams are being deployed from the ICRC’s new logistics base in Chimoio, Mozambique, to remote communities in Manica and Sofala provinces to assess the most pressing needs and provide immediate assistance.
Distributions of relief supplies started this week and will continue for the coming month with communities receiving blankets, tarpaulins and kitchen sets.