It has now been almost two weeks since Cyclone Idai smashed into the Mozambican city of Biera, and began moving through southern Africa, and we are starting to see the extent of the devastation it brought throughout the region.
The cyclone and its aftermath has destroyed an estimated 80-90% of Biera’s infrastructure leaving hundreds of thousands in a state of emergency. For a continent already racked by the effects of the climate crisis, Idai is another chilling reminder of the destructive power of the kind of storms that will become more common as the world warms up.
A recent report estimated that “more than two million people have been affected in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.” Hospitals and health facilities across the region have sustained severe infrastructural and material damage. Hundreds have already lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands more are at risk of waterborne illness, food shortages, lack of secure housing, and more.
A partner of ours is renewing their call for help, now that the extent of the damage is becoming clear. If you can, donate to Health Alliance International here. They have set up a dedicated fund that will be used to respond to health needs on the ground in Biera, where they have been working for many years.
If you’d like to help further, share this story on Facebook to help us highlight how, on one hand, African governments must do a better job of a better job of halting the development of fossil fuels projects in order to prevent further tragedies. On the other, fossil fuel companies must also be held accountable for the impact that decades of unregulated exploitation of coal, oil and gas have had on the continent, including before courts.
Header image: A Mozambican women carries some housing materials across flooded ground in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. (Denis Onyodi: IFRC/DRK/Climate Centre)