Cyclone Idai Emergency Response

by IsraAID
Cyclone Idai Emergency Response
Cyclone Idai Emergency Response
Cyclone Idai Emergency Response
Cyclone Idai Emergency Response
Cyclone Idai Emergency Response
Cyclone Idai Emergency Response
Cyclone Idai Emergency Response
Cyclone Idai Emergency Response

In Mozambique, where communities are still working to overcome the destruction caused by Cyclone Idai, which displaced thousands and severely damaged hygiene and sanitation infrastructure, people are at high risk for the rapid spread of disease. This could cause a secondary crisis and exacerbate humanitarian aid efforts. IsraAID first arrived in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai in March 2019. Since then, IsraAID has worked in the sectors of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH); Child Protection; Psychosocial Support (PSS); Medical Care; and Disaster Risk Reduction to support emergency response efforts toward building back better.

IsraAID is implementing long-term, sustainable projects to bolster psychosocial support within the education system in Sofala Province and increase community resilience toward future crises. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the IsraAID team launched distribution campaigns to support program continuity despite the shutdown, seeking to provide school children and their families with basic hygiene supplies, information about preventing the spread of COVID-19, and resilience kits, to compensate for the ongoing gap in psychosocial support services in these communities.

We are working with its partners in Mozambique including the Ministry of Education to outfit schools across Sofala Province with adequate facilities to ensure that children can go back to school safely. In addition, our teams are providing basic equipment and curricular materials to help teachers integrate hygiene into the classroom setting.

In October, in partnership with Radio of Mozambique, we launched a series of live radio programs and developed 1-minute spot-stories, for both children and adults, as part of its response to COVID-19 pandemic side effects. The program is broadcasted live weekly in Portuguese with Kalida, our senior psychosocial support (PSS) officer, in the studio providing feedback and engaging in conversations with listeners who call to present their questions, doubts and fears.The program is then translated into the two main provincial languages, Ndau and Sena, to be broadcasted also twice a week. The spot-stories is a creative piece of work between IsraAID and the writers of Radio of Mozambique, who turn relevant PSS content into spots that both capture children and adults.

By partnering up with the Radio of Mozambique and embracing the local languages of the province, this program and the spot-stories have the potential to reach more than two million people in the Province of Sofala. The contents are also available for free to the local community radios. So far, 3 of the 6 planned programs have been broadcasted, discussing COVID-19, Stress and Stigma. The content of the radio show was developed by the Mozambique PSS team together with other Protection specialists.  

 Thank you for your continued support.

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As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread around the world, having access to hygiene supplies and handwashing facilities has become increasingly important, but for some of the most vulnerable communities, the lack of safe water poses an additional threat during an already challenging time. 

Following Cyclone Idai in 2019, many communities in Mozambique were still without access to safe water. The cyclone impacted hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have not yet returned to a life that they can consider 'normal'. They were still in the midst of recovering from one crisis, when another crisis - the COVID-19 pandemic - arrived in Mozambique in March. 

We are working to provide access to safe water in different communities, to minimize the spread of COVID-19, as well as any other disease that can be prevented with good hygiene practices. IsraAID Mozambique's WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) team is deploying water solutions to health facilities in Beira. We are distributing NUF water filtration systems which are designed to produce up to 500 liters of clean drinking water per hour in places that do not have permanent access to electricity. This quantity can provide enough water on a daily basis for a community of several hundred people. We are continuing to work with the local authorities to determine optimal locations to install more systems.

Access to safe water and hygiene supplies is often the difference between contracting a number of viruses, or not. This is why we are not only installing systems that provide access to safe water, we are also distributing soap, providing training for key members of the community, and promoting good hygiene practices through a number of channels. We have been adapting our usual psychosocial (PSS) training that we operate for teachers, bringing soap, buckets and water purification supplies to every session, as well as focusing on how to promote a healthy school and classroom. We have also been distributing activity kits to people's homes, and broadcasting information on PSS for adults and storytelling on PSS for children over the radio, allowing us to continue - albeit adapted - our psychosocial support to children, even when we are not able to physically meet in school. 

Thank you for your continued support during the pandemic. 

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On International Women's Day, meet a few of the incredible women working to support communities in crisis with IsraAID in the Bahamas, Colombia, Greece, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and more.

We're incredibly proud of the strong women leaders we work with around the world, and hope you will enjoy the video linked below that celebrates their accomplishments.

IsraAID has been working in Mozambique since Cyclone Idai hit the country in March 2019. Today, we are working with the education system in Sofala Province toward increased preparedness for disasters, should they strike.

Thank you for your support! And we wish you a very happy International Women's Day!

Links:

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Cyclone Idai ravaged southeastern Africa in early March 2019, causing more than 1,000 fatalities and over $1 billion of damage. Subsequent heavy rains, flooding, and mudslides devastated everything in its path—with 1.8 million Mozambicans directly affected by the storm. Many international organizations called this “massive disaster” the worst weather-related crisis to have ever hit the southern hemisphere.

In the immediate aftermath, at least 130,000 were living in shelters across 136 sites; schools were repurposed as shelters, with many children unable to attend classes. Hundreds of thousands of people are still suffering due to a paralyzing loss of crops and livestock, overwhelming damage to buildings and key infrastructure, and thousands of vulnerable communities left without support, including traumatized children separated from their parents.

IsraAID’s Emergency Response Team arrived on 23 March and began conducting a needs assessment in partnership with the President of Mozambique’s office, as well as other international NGOs and local partners. IsraAID deployed a medical team, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene specialists, Pyschosocial Support professionals, and Protection coordinators to begin providing desperately needed aid.

Today, IsraAID remains on the ground providing recovery support to affected communities, in two main sectors:

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH):

IsraAID WASH specialists on the ground continue to ensure that communities have access to safe water. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the team distributed NUF filters, which can provide safe water for entire communities. All filter distributions were coupled with training community leaders on their use, to ensure their ongoing usage and effectiveness. Today, our team on the ground continues to visit these communities-- many of them remote and difficult to access-- to check on the NUF filters, the community members managing their usage, and to provide support with troubleshooting and maintenance. Check out the attached pictures!

Psychosocial Support in Education:

Disasters and conflicts can have a severe psychosocial impact on individuals, families and communities. Following Cyclone Idai, IsraAID conducted a monitoring process in 5 of the worst-affected school districts to evaluate the existing psychosocial capacity and future needs of teachers in each district. Responding to these findings, IsraAID and its partners have launched a program to strengthen the capacity of teachers to provide psychosocial support to children in their care, using relevant and adapted expressive methodologies. Based on the known mental health impact of disasters, coupled with IsraAID’s global experience supporting communities as the recovery from crisis, this program will bolster community resilience and promote a culture of psychosocial preparedness and mental health literacy within the education system of Sofala Province.

The immediate aftermath of a crisis is an apt time to focus on building resilience, as communities are more focused on such matters and have recent, first-hand experience to better identify potential hazards. Classrooms are an ideal setting for this intervention since children are some of the most vulnerable in emergencies, and educational frameworks are a natural confluence of society—where parents, staff, children, and local government interact. 

To accomplish this, IsraAID, in partnership with GIZ, the Sofala Provincial Ministry of Education, the Mozambican Department of Nutrition and Health in Schools, and other actors, will initiate a two-stage program to integrate psychosocial support and resilience education into the local school system. This program will reach more than 412,000 beneficiaries across 357 primary schools-- and is currently being launched!

More updates from the field to come! Thanks very much for your ongoing support!

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Cyclone Idai struck southeastern Africa in March 2019 with 205 km/h winds, causing catastrophic damage to areas of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. With more the 1,300 fatalities as a result of the storm, the cycle is considered among the worst tropical cyclones to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere.

IsraAID’s emergency response team arrived on the ground shortly after the storm ended, bringing relief items, psychosocial support specialists, and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programming to ensure access to safe water. As Mozambique continues on its long path to recovery, some communities are still without regular access to services—and IsraAID plans to stay on the ground and support those most vulnerable in the aftermath.

This past month, IsraAID WASH experts focused on increasing safe water access for remote villages located in the Sofala Province that we inaccessible during the early phases of the emergency response work. Three NUF Water Filters were delivered to different villages, identified and selected based on need, which will provide long-term water security to more than 500 people in each village.

IsraAID coupled the filter delivery with hands-on training to build the capacity of each village’s leaders in using and maintaining the NUF filter. These trainings focused on teaching women and children how to use the filters—as they are often those responsible for collecting water for each family.

One participant, Grace, shared with the IsraAID team that before the cyclone she would walk at least seven kilometers to reach safe water sources. She added that this was the first time she’d received any type of education since leaving school early in her childhood due to family pressure. Grace expressed anxiety as the training began—which transitioned to pride as she would be able to provide safe water for her family.

The IsraAID team on the ground plans to conduct an additional 8 NUF Filter distributions in the coming weeks—to Gorongosa, Maringue, Chibabava, and Buzi in Sofala Province.

Thank you for your support!

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IsraAID

Location: Tel Aviv, Merkaz - Israel
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Twitter: @IsraAID
Project Leader:
Ethan Schwartz
Tel Aviv, Merkaz Israel
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