Impact of Cyclone Freddy in Mozambique

As part of the commemorations of \”International Women\’s Day\”, which took place on the 8th of March, peasant women members of the UNAC held a march alluding to the date, repudiating actions that oppress and violate women\’s rights. The march took place in the city of Maputo, from Praça da Independência to Praça dos Trabalhadores, where the Victory Monument is located. After the march, reflections were made on the struggles waged by women. The event was an opportunity for the women involved in that it will allow for exchange between the different women who fight to defend their rights and to share experiences, strengthen struggles to guarantee food for the people, and share a vision for ensuring a fair and ecologically sustainable food system. It also brought solidarity for the women who were affected by cyclone Freddy.

Storm Freddy, hit the coast of Zambézia on March 12, with its epicentre in the district of Namacurra, locality of Macuze, with winds of 148 Km/h and gusts of up to 213 Km/h, and heavy rains of more than 200mm, affecting the provinces of Zambezia.There were 165 deaths and 511 people injured. People are still dying from the cholera that broke out in the city of Quelimane. There is a lack of basic sanitation that is accelerating the situation. To make matters worse, the water supply system is interrupted. As of Sunday, the cumulative number of cases was 8,465 in 32 districts. The increase was 1,114 patients in the last week. At least so far, 19 people have died of cholera in the city of Quelimane. 

Many people were left homeless and others without housing. The greatest damage is registered in the districts of Namacurra, Quelimane and Nicoadala. The precarious houses were severely affected leaving many families homeless as well as their possessions destroyed both by the action of the wind and the water. Partial data show around 70,502 houses partially destroyed, 103,101 houses totally destroyed, 24,889 houses flooded. In agriculture, there is still not enough data on the total area affected, but several crops are considered lost, with emphasis on maize and rice. 

Many access roads were partially and completely destroyed, preventing the free movement of people and goods. This cutting off of access routes has sometimes limited support for those affected in certain areas. The national road was temporarily interrupted in two directions both for the central and southern areas as well as the north. According to government authorities, there was data on the health units, schools, churches and many infrastructures were left homeless. Zambézia province was the most affected. The capital city, Quelimane, was completely dark and the districts of Maganja da Costa, Mocubela, Pebane, Administrative Post of Namanjavira, Namacurra, Nicoadala, Chinde, Inhassunge and several neighbourhoods of the city of Mocuba and other districts also without electricity. Many state, private and/or singular infrastructures such as: offices, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals as well as houses were destroyed. Most crops have been destroyed, this means that people\’s security in terms of food have been seriously compromised. Those communities which already had a food deficit are going to experience even worse days because they will have to wait for the waters to recede to plant new crops, which means that the next coming months will be difficult.

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