Cyclone Eloise Has Hit
Tragic events have been occurring in the coastal nation of Mozambique in the last few days. Cyclone Eloise hit the port city of Beira, with winds of up to 120kph, in the early hours of Friday 23rd January. There had already been heavy rainfall, strong winds and flooding for a few days and there is now severe flooding across central Mozambique. Rivers have burst their banks. Crops have been ruined. It is estimated that 4,000 homes have been destroyed or badly damaged and 5,000 people have been evacuated so far. Heavy rains are continuing and spreading inland to southern Zimbabwe and northern South Africa and another cyclone is expected in the next few days! Flooding is expected to affect more areas as overflowing river water from these catchments flows to southern Mozambique. In a best-case scenario, over 120,000 people will be directly impacted by Cyclone Eloise. It is important to note that in 2018, Cyclone Idai also hit Mozambique, as well as a recent tropical storm at the end of December 2019, flooding the very same areas. In most instances, people have not even fully recovered from these events.
Mobilised To Help
This week many of our churches lost their roofs along with study books and Bibles. However, we praise God that the
established network of Harvesters churches is ready and mobilised to help those in need! They are using unaffected buildings to house those who need shelter. Due to the 2018 disaster, our pastors have had training in disaster management as well as on the ground experience. They are able to be salt and light to their neighbours. This is of vital importance because, due to COVID restrictions, help from surrounding nations is limited. In immediate need are emergency shelter, food, hygiene kits, COVID-19 protection materials and drinking water.
Beyond the immediate and urgent needs, the recovery from the events of this week will be a long-term project. Our closest partner, Harvesters Ministries aims to support in providing metal sheeting for roof repairs, seeds for crops and boreholes for water storage. In addition, holistic training will be initiated to help lessen the effects of future cyclones and droughts, including flood control, improved rainfall infiltration and storing water underground.