From time to time, natural disasters throughout the world are of sufficient scale and ferocity to take our breath away; this is currently the unfolding and very fragile situation in Southern Africa.
According to the latest UN reports, Cyclone Idai has triggered a “massive disaster”. Hundreds have been killed and over 2 million people are affected. Clare Nullis, UN Weather Agency said:
This is shaping up to be one of the worst weather-related disasters ever to hit the southern hemisphere.
Winds of more than 100 mph and overwhelming flood waters have already claimed the lives of more than one thousand people, with hundreds of thousands more displaced and destitute. The urgency and scale of this situation needs as much logistic and financial assistance as possible.
Following the devastation inflicted by Cyclone Idai last month, it has been our privilege over the last few weeks to raise awareness of the long-term plight of the people of Southern Africa. We wanted to be able to update you as accurately as possible with the most recent news from the ground. So, we arranged to speak with Bishop Hendrick Mahlangu, Director of Hope for Africa Mission, a WorldShare ministry partner, who is uniquely placed to facilitate the help & support that your giving has and will make possible; thank you indeed to all those who have already given. Click below to watch the video with Bishop Hendrick.
It will take ongoing, long-term support for these people to fully recover. The livelihoods of the people of Southern Africa relies on agricultural business, but their fields have literally been washed into the sea.
More funding is currently needed to facilitate the sending of a large, 32-ton lorry into the heart of the aftermath. Because helicopters are scarce, people are still being air-lifted to safety from rooftops and even from within trees over two weeks after the cyclone. The immediate response has been vital (food, shelter, mosquito nets/repellents,) but it is now a long-term approach to this disaster that is crucial; it will take at least a year, Bishop Hendrick tells us, for the people to properly recover and rebuild their lives.
Most people have been removed from low lying areas and are being housed in nearby, partly-damaged schools, crowded in classrooms. There is a great need for sleeping tents and mattresses, to create privacy for those with young children and the disabled. Hope for Africa Missions have begun collecting tents and mattresses, but they need many more to meet the needs of those displaced.
According to UNICEF Zimbabwe, over 250 boreholes and 18 urban and peri-urban water supply systems have been damaged, so the ministry also plans to distribute water purifiers.
Your support will be a great blessing to those who are left homeless and at risk and will enable Hope for Africa Missions to provide vital relief aid.