In mid-march, Cyclone Idai struck southern Africa, ravaging parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Of these countries, Mozambique was hardest hit. The storm struck the port city Beira and surrounding areas, creating a massive inland flood plane. At the time, the World Meteorological Organization called it one of the worst weather related disasters to ever strike the southern hemisphere.
One month on, I wanted to get a sense of the how the recovery efforts were progressing, so I called up Dorothy Sang of Oxfam, who is on the line with me today from the city of Beira in Mozambique.
Dorothy Sang is Oxfam’s humanitarian advocacy manager and in this conversation she describes the scale of the damage wrought by Cyclone Idai and how international relief agencies like Oxfam are responding to this crisis.
One thing that struck me about this conversation is how over one month since this crisis, relief agencies are still finding communities that have been totally cut off from access. Aid has not reached many stranded communities, and relief agencies are relying on expensive air drops to deliver aid.