Friday December 13, 2019

Mozambique Declares Cholera Outbreak after Cyclone Kenneth

The World Health Organization estimates nearly 200,000 people need some kind of medical aid

cholera outbreak, cyclone kenneth
People cross a section of Pemba, a city that remains flooded on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, May, 2, 2019. VOA

Officials in northern Mozambique have declared a cholera outbreak caused by a lack of clean water left behind from Cyclone Kenneth.

More than a dozen cases have been reported a week after the storm slammed into the East African nation with the power of a Category 4 hurricane and winds as high as 280 kilometers per hour (174 mph).

cholera outbreak, cyclone kenneth
The World Health Organization estimates nearly 200,000 people need some kind of medical aid. VOA

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The death toll stands at 41 and health workers and international aid agencies are desperately trying to prevent more storm-related casualties. The World Health Organization estimates nearly 200,000 people need some kind of medical aid.

Kenneth hit northern Mozambique just six weeks after Cyclone Idai tore across the central part of the country, destroying villages and washing away crops, and nearly wiping out the entire port city of Beria. That storm killed more than 1,000 people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. (VOA)

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UNDP: Mozambique Hosts Pledging Conference to Raise Money for Reconstruction Efforts after Cyclone Devastation

The cyclones also destroyed much of the nation’s residential infrastructure

mozambique cyclone
FILE - Women walk to a camp for the displaced in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, in John Segredo, near Beira, Mozambique, April 3, 2019. VOA

The U.N. Development Program says Mozambique will host a pledging conference later this week to raise money for reconstruction efforts in the wake of cyclones Idai and Kenneth that devastated the country over the months in March and April.

The cyclones, hitting weeks apart, have impacted 1.85 million people, according to the UNDP. The conference will take place on May 31 and June 1 in the city of Beira, an area severely impacted by the cyclones.

The cyclones severely weakened the country’s health care infrastructure and reduced access to sanitation and safe water, resulting in an outbreak of cholera. It also destroyed much of the nation’s residential infrastructure.

mozambique cyclone
A woman and her baby walk past cholera vaccination campaign posters on the first day of the cholera vaccination program at a camp for displaced survivors of cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, April, 3, 2019. VOA

Houses and other buildings have been destroyed, leaving many without adequate shelter. According to Mozambique’s National Institute of Disaster Management, more than 23,000 people are without shelter. Availability of food is also an issue in Mozambique, with many crops devastated by the cyclones.

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According to the UNDP, the first day of the conference will focus on “technical discussions,” whereas the second day, which will be headed by Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi, is to be oriented around pledges.

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), a study evaluating the extent of the cyclones’ impact, “forms the basis of the Beira conference”, according to Mozambique government spokesperson Ana Comoana, who is quoted in a U.N. press release. (VOA)