By Kudakwashe Matambo
Three months after the horrific Cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, the affected families have begun steps towards recovery, but they still need so much help.
Following the launch of the ‘Beyond Cyclone Idai’ campaign, a fundraising appeal to assist the affected families and communities, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr Arturo Sosa SJ has made a worldwide appeal on behalf of the victims.
The Beyond Cyclone Idai campaign launched by Jesuits in Southern Africa targets to raise US$3 million dollars that will be directed towards health care, education, psychosocial support and infrastructure.
Fr Sosa SJ acknowledged that there has been a generous response to the emergency needs of the victims of Cyclone Idai.
The campaign seeks to complement the ongoing efforts to help the victims beyond the immediate- short term humanitarian needs of food and clothes, shelter among others.
“I am happy to give my support to this important initiative…let us all contribute towards the recovery of the livelihoods, the restoration of human dignity and the reconstruction of lives and infrastructure in the affected areas,” he said.
Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall on the coast of Beira on March 15, 2019 and also affected the South Eastern parts of Zimbabwe, mainly Chimanimani and Chipinge, as well as Southern Malawi.
Through the Jesuit Relief Fund, the Jesuits in Southern Africa managed to send emergency relief aid to the victims and survivors of the tropical storm through its structures and in collaboration with other institutions such as Caritas.
More than 1.7 million people were left homeless by cyclone Idai in Mozambique; 3 million people without food, water, and shelter in Zimbabwe and more than 920 thousand people were affected in Malawi.
Several homes have been destroyed, water and sanitation systems completely damaged posing a great risk of diseases and psychological challenges for the families.
Thousands of the families have been temporarily allocated tents in camps, which are by far not enough as many households, with an average of 5 people, have to live in one tent, and in some cases share the tent with other households.
There is still need for support for the families as many still struggle to recover.