By Saba Mahmood
MOZAMBIQUE: Cyclone Idai has left more than 1.8 million people facing imminent food shortages, and the destruction of over 715,000 hectares of crop land will have severe food insecurity implications over the coming months.
This is the grim assessment by Islamic Relief emergency response team who has been assisting with relief efforts in Maputo and Beira, Mozambique.
There is a severe lack of basic amenities such as clean water, electricity and infrastructure such as roads and buildings have been badly damaged in the tropical storm.
Provinces including Sofala, Zambezia, Manica and Tete – which make up the country’s food basket – have suffered grave losses. Livestock have died while food storages and grain stores have been completely washed away.
A cholera outbreak has resulted in further challenges for government and humanitarian actors. Five cholera-related deaths and close to 3,000 new cholera cases reported. The vast majority of cases have been reported in Beira, with Dondo, Nhamatanda and Buzi city also registering new outbreaks.
To add to these woes, 54 medical facilities and clinics have been severely damaged or completely destroyed, resulting in huge pressure on the already weak health infrastructure in the central provinces.