Cyclone Kenneth hits Mozambique

Media CenterNorthern Mozambique in Urgent Need After Cyclone Kenneth

Photo courtesy of Tommy Trenchard for Caritas Internationalis

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Lusaka, Zambia:
Dooshima Tsee
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]

Baltimore, Maryland:
Nikki Gamer
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(443) 955- 7125

 

Back-to-back cyclones in Mozambique have created an acute need for
humanitarian support to address the growing desperation in the country’s hardest-hit areas

PEMBA, MOZAMBIQUE, April 30, 2019 – Continued flooding, landslides and a threat of water-borne diseases are just a few of Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) growing concerns in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth, a hurricane that thrashed Northeastern Mozambique April 25, leaving more than 168,000 people in urgent need of humanitarian aid.   

“Entire villages have been flattened. Roads have been washed out. And bridges have been destroyed,” said Erica Dahl-Bredine, CRS’ country representative of Lesotho and Mozambique. “We’re just beginning to fully understand the extent of the damage. In fact, the number of people who have been impacted by this storm continues to climb.” 

Cyclone Kenneth struck hardest along the coastal districts of Ibo, Macomia and Quissanga. In addition, heavy continued rainfall is devastating parts of Pemba, the capital city of the province of Cabo Delgado. 

“On Sunday, landslides triggered by a torrential downpour were reported in certain low-lying neighborhoods. In one case, a landslide dumped so much trash on top of people’s houses that the ensuing debris caused several reported deaths,” Dahl-Bredine said.  “This is a part of Mozambique that is already more vulnerable to these types of storms because of its relative lack of resources.”    

There is also a growing threat of water-borne diseases, like cholera, typhoid and malaria spreading quickly in the hardest hit areas.

“When a storm like this hits with so much devastation, ensuring proper hygiene and sanitation practices becomes vital to stemming a deadly disease outbreak,” Dahl-Bredine said.  

In coordination with the local government, CRS is supporting the Catholic Church in Pemba to get help to the hardest-hit areas, including the provision of temporary shelter for at least 1,000 people, food, and other life-saving supplies.

Several factors are complicating the humanitarian response, including severely damaged road infrastructure, and a depleted stock of readily available supplies because of Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique only five weeks ago.

“The local Church is doing an incredible job of helping the people of Mozambique in both regions and has mobilized an enormous army of volunteers to assist in these dual relief efforts,” Dahl-Bredine said. “But additional support will be needed from the international community before more people lose their lives.”

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Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.  For more information, visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Nikki Gamer

Media Relations Manager

Nikki Gamer
April 30, 2019

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Media Relations Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement of...More