Press release

Two weeks after Cyclone Idai

Many communities are still cut off and in desperate need of assistance

1 April 2019

Paola Barioli

Media Relations Officer

Photo following Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. Two weeks after the disaster, many affected areas are still unreachable by road and cut off from essential relief assistance.
Photo: © Medair/Eric Itin

Beira, Mozambique. 1 April 2019.  – Two weeks after Cyclone Idai and related floods struck Mozambique, many affected areas are still unreachable by vehicle. Villages on the bank of the Buzi River, in Chibabava district, have been partially destroyed and mud huts washed away. People have lost everything: their houses, possessions, crops, and animals. In order to support affected communities in Mozambique as they struggle to recover, Medair is planning distributions of emergency shelter kits, hygiene kits, and kitchen sets to about 2,000 households. Distributions will target remote rural areas that have received little to no external assistance to date.

Between 24 and 30 March, staff from Medair, Food for the Hungry (FH), and Medical Teams International (MTI) visited remote rural communities cut off by flooding in Nhamatanda and Chibabava district. “For many people, we were the first international agencies to come and assess their needs, two weeks after Cyclone Idai and flooding affected the area,” said Robert Schofield, head of Medair’s relief efforts from Beira, Mozambique. “Roads and other infrastructure were severely damaged. This means many locations are still not accessible by road,” he added.

“In Chibabava district, hundreds of people are staying in local schools after the water washed away their straw and mud huts. The road is still impassable. People have to walk long distances to come and get some assistance,” said Kyle Lotier, Medair Emergency Response Project Manager. “Another school in the area is only accessible by boat. But boats were washed away during the floods and the only ones available now are tiny wooden canoes not suitable for crossing a river infested with crocodiles.”

Water systems have also been severely affected. In Lamego, Nhamatanda district, several wells were damaged and contaminated by the flood waters. In Chibabava town, the main pump is no longer working, leaving more than 7,000 people with no treated water. People face a growing threat of waterborne diseases.

The Medair team will continue to visit remote communities in Sofala province to assess the most pressing needs and provide immediate assistance. Distributions of relief supplies is planned in the coming days with communities receiving emergency shelter kits, kitchen sets, and hygiene kits, including essential supplies to prevent cholera.

In Mozambique, Medair is working in partnership with Food for the Hungry, a development agency that has been running a food security and health response in the country since 1987. The two agencies are setting up a comprehensive response, each focusing on its main sector of intervention, in order to address the most urgent needs in terms of food security, heath services, and shelter in the most remote and affected areas of the country.

For media

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Paola Barioli, Press Relations Officer (in Mozambique):,
+41(0)78 635 30 95

For regular updates, please check or our twitter feeds @MedairInt and @MedairPress.

Medair is an international humanitarian NGO that provides emergency relief and recovery services to families made vulnerable by natural disasters, conflicts, and other crises.