No lives lost to Cyclone Chalane but Covid on rise

Cyclone Chalane caused damage and trauma but no loss of life. However, cases of the South African fast-spreading Covid variant are rising, say our staff in Oasis Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

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More than 26,000 households affected

Armando Licoze and Asha Emmerson, Country Directors in Oasis Mozambique and Oasis Zimbabwe, report that around 30% of the homes in the communities where Oasis works have had significant damage due to the passage of Cyclone Chalane last week.

Many homes have completely or partially lost their roofs, leaving them open to the elements. More than 26,000 households were affected and 265 families are now in temporary accommodation.

Asha reports that Cyclone Chalane has not only left structural damage, many are facing enhanced economic struggle from crop damage. Those who were still in tented camps, displaced by Cyclone Idai in 2019, experienced trauma triggered as the storm advanced and evacuation began.

‘However, the actual physical impact was less than expected and we have seen no storm related reports of loss of life this time. We are so grateful for that!’ says Asha.

Covid lockdown will cause hunger

Strict curfews have been enforced in Zimbabwe which has gone into a 30-day total lockdown due to a sudden and dramatic spike in Covid cases.

‘The new South African fast-spreading mutation has crossed our borders,’ says Asha. ‘Over this weekend there was a significant number of deaths and friends and families desperately seeking medical intervention for critically-ill loved ones, report there are no beds in public or private hospitals.

‘For us, this means we will see hunger increase exponentially with cases of Covid, not only among those affected by Chalane, but throughout our Hubs. In the first lockdown, we had a child die of hunger in our hub area and we have prioritised what  little food we have to feed the most vulnerable through the year.

‘This lockdown will only see the desperation grow as it impacts the poorest the most. The need for urgent funds to assist is definitely still relevant.’

 If you would like to support Oasis Mozambique, a Virgin Money Giving pages has been set up 

 

 

Climate change – poor are paying the price

This is the third cyclone to hit Mozambique in less than two years and is thought to be the impact of climate change.

An article in The Guardian dated 2 January 2021 says experts believe there are links to rising sea-surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean.

‘There is absolutely no doubt that when there is a tropical cyclone [such as Idai], then because of climate change the rainfall intensities are higher,’ says Friederike Otto, acting director of the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.

 

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‘Also, because of sea level rise, the resulting flooding is more intense than it would be without human-induced climate change.’

The article suggests the impact of Cyclones like Chalane is heightened because countries such as Mozambique are so ill equipped to deal with it. The average income of Mozambique is less than £2.20 a day, barely enough to buy 2kg of sugar and four loaves of bread.

See Guardian article:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/02/the-sea-is-rising-the-climate-is-changing-the-lessons-learned-from-mozambiques-deadly-cyclone

 

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