An estimated 3 million people have been affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
At least 750 people have been killed and some 400,000 have lost their homes, with this devastating toll expected to rise in the coming days.
Those affected – especially those in remote areas – are in desperate need of food, water, clothing, shelter and medicine.
Christian Aid is raising urgent funds. Working with our local partners on the ground in Zimbabwe and Malawi, we're helping to provide much-needed emergency assistance.
Please donate to the Cyclone Idai Appeal so we can be there for those in need.
Christian Aid’s response – 6-month update
Christian Aid is working through four partner organisations: AWET (Apostolic Women Empowerment Trust), Padare (Men’s Forum on Gender), Africa Ahead and MeDRA (Methodist Development and Relief Agency) to reach affected communities in the districts of Chipinge, Buhera and Bikita.
- We have reached 1,350 households with food and non-food items including maize meal, sugar, dried fish, salt, cooking pots, spoons and plates.
- Communities are being supported to overcome the disaster. The focus is on restoring community and family networks and structures, support for vulnerable groups and gender-based violence awareness.
- Access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities is a key priority, to mitigate disease outbreaks. We are ensuring that public hygiene education is undertaken in addition to distributing soap and purification for drinking water. Plans are also in place to repair water points and sanitation facilities.
- We are supporting the fixing and rebuilding of shelters to ensure families have a safe home to live in.
In two of the worst-affected districts in the southern region of Malawi, Nsanje and Chikwawa, our partners Eagles Relief and Development (Eagles) and Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) have been focusing on addressing immediate, life-saving needs in their initial response. In these areas 35,818 people were displaced and located in 36 camps.
- We have distributed unconditional cash to 4,942 households (19,768 people) so that they can meet their needs. Families are using this cash for food and items such as shelter repairs and medication, among others.
- Due to contaminated water sources we have enabled to 3,751 households to purify their drinking water. We have also distributed soap and sanitary products.
- We have reached 4,706 people in the most vulnerable groups to support their nutrition.
- Due to many families losing their crops we have supported families to plants new crops by providing seeds and farming tools.
The sun was about to set when Selena noticed water coming into her house. And then more water, and then more. She fled with her family to a nearby school and watched as the floods destroyed almost everything she owned.
Thanks to Christian Aid’s emergency response work, Selena received some maize seeds and money to help rebuild her home in the immediate aftermath of the flooding.
Selena knows how important education is, because it’s the opportunity she never had. Orphaned at five years old, she was raised by an uncle until he too died. She had few options left to her. She got married very young and now lives with her husband and six children.
‘I just want the children to have a different life from what I had. My hope for the future is that if they go to school, they will be better off.’
Before Christian Aid’s partner PROACT came to support her community, Margaret was living a life without hope. But the training she’s received from them has helped her improve the way she farms and enabled her to start a small business. Now she’s bringing in enough money that she can even send her children to school. She says it has empowered her life.
When Cyclone Idai hit, Margaret lost all the crops she had planted, along with many of her possessions. But because of the support she had previously received, she was able to get back on her feet again more quickly. She says, ‘We were trained to be courageous enough not to be shaken by the floods, but to move on and be strong’.
The rains are no longer consistent, and the area she lives in is often hit by both drought and flooding. Now she’s able to practice crop rotation and to diversify what she grows so that she is more resilient to climate change.
‘I’m a witness, climate has changed. Nowadays it’s not the way it used to be when we were children.’