AVSI has responded to the disaster that struck the country on March 15th with first aid interventions and a focus on family reunifications
Photos AVSI Mozambique staff
April 2, 2019 - According to the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, Cyclone Idai is “one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa.”
It is also one more sign of the dangers of climate change and the consequences on vulnerable countries, like Mozambique, with no infrastructures, disaster risk reduction plans or funds to respond to catastrophic events as Idai.
There isn’t a clear idea of the damages Idai has caused and the precise number of those in distress. In Mozambique, the nation who has suffered the most from this disaster, more than 1.8 million people are in need of help, of which a million are children.
AVSI, together with UNICEF and other NGOs, is on the front line to help those children left with no family after the cyclone.
"Our first concern is taking care of minors. In coordination with the United Nations, we are visiting accommodation centers to understand whether the children sheltered are unaccompanied or not," says Martina Zavagli, chief of mission AVSI
Health, environmental and socio-economic issues will affect the country for many years because of the disaster.
There is no clean water or food, and people are in need of medical care and shelters. Michele Torti, AVSI’s Emergency Coordinator, explains that until now the main concerns were saving lives and distributing food, but now AVSI is taking care of family reunification and minors protection.
AVSI has been present in Mozambique since the ‘90s in the field of Education, Environment and Urban Development, with projects strictly related to Climate Change.
An example of AVSI’s intervention is the innovative clean cooking system used in Maputo slum, with positive effects on health, environment and family economies. Thanks to the Improved Cooking Stove project, there was a reduction of 65% on the use of charcoal, compared to traditional stoves, allowing lower carbon emissions and an increase of 10% in families’ incomes.
After the cyclone Idai, AVSI is committed to families' reunifications and the protection of minors, but it is still active on environmental sustainability projects that will help tackle climate change in the near future.