After Cyclone Dineo – ShelterBox is in Africa helping to re-home thousands after Mozambique’s storm damage and flooding
Cyclone Dineo struck the southern African country of Mozambique on 15 February. Its torrential rain and damaging winds destroyed 20,000 homes and affected 130,000 people.International disaster relief agency ShelterBox has been working with the Red Cross to help communities rebuild.
The South West Indian Ocean brews up a cyclone season every year, and in recent months there have been five tropical storms, with three intensifying into cyclones. Our photos show clear evidence of the destructive power of Dineo, and how ShelterBox and Red Cross response teams are taking aid to hard-hit areas such as Massinga and Morrumbene.
Dineo was the first tropical cyclone to hit the coast of Mozambique since 2008. 200 mm of rain fell in the province of Inhambane, at least seven people were killed, including a child crushed by a falling tree in Massinga. After the storm abated an estimated 130,000 people were in need of assistance.
Australian ShelterBox Response Team volunteer, Megan Graham was part of the second team in country, helping to assess needs and arrange customs clearance. Megan said,
“The first team had performed a needs assessment in the area and determined that ShelterBox aid in the form of Shelter Kits was appropriate. 1,000 Shelter Kits and 2,000 mosquito nets were already identified to be sent to Mozambique. My month in Mozambique was split between the capital, Maputo and Inhambane city. The affected area was vast and the vulnerable families very spread out, we spent some time with our partners Red Cross to visit some of the potential beneficiaries and see the damage caused by Cyclone Dineo. To identify the vulnerable families to receive the 1,000 Shelter Kits we needed to utilise the services of the local Red Cross Volunteers, we spent some days training them on the necessary data collection to ensure the most vulnerable were to receive the aid. Whilst I was in the Inhambane area with a team working on the beneficiary collection a separate team was based in Maputo working on expediting Tax Exemption so that the aid could be flown in to the country.”
The aid that fitted the needs of the population best was ShelterKits containing materials to rebuild or repair basic dwellings. Women are seen carrying the kits on their heads, often with infants in arms and toddlers at their feet.
Response team member, Steven Tonkinson (USA) says,‘The people we have been distributing to are clearly among the most vulnerable in their communities. We have seen elderly men and women, people with severe physical disabilities, mothers with infants and orphaned children. It’s reassuring to know that our aid is going to those who need it most.’
Demonstrations of how to use the kit contents – tarpaulins, tools and fixings – were given to households. After consulting the local community, ShelterBox also included machetes, a widely used tool in Mozambique, and mosquito nets to avoid the scourge of malaria. The Machetes were transported safely to Mozambique in our familiar green boxes.
This careful selection of aid will mean people can rebuild their lives and livelihoods, and protect themselves from the weather.
You can help families affected by disasters by donating here: PLEASE DONATE