Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe

Malita, 35, stands in the Bangula camp, southern Malawi, when she found refuge after Cyclone Idai devastated her village in Mozambique. She had to stay two days in a tree with her three children before they were rescued. Photo: Philip Hatcher-Moore/Oxfam
Malita, 35, stands in the Bangula camp, southern Malawi, when she found refuge after Cyclone Idai devastated her village in Mozambique. She had to stay two days in a tree with her three children before they were rescued. Photo: Philip Hatcher-Moore/Oxfam
Oxfam is responding to deadly cyclone Idai, which tore through southern Africa and devastated Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Hundreds of people have died, many more are still missing and millions have been left destitute without food or basic services. A second disaster, Cyclone Kenneth, has now hit northern Mozambique – another massive blow to the country. Please give what you can today and help us save lives.

Cyclone Idai hit landfall in Beira, Mozambique, on the night of 14-15 March, with winds of 170km/h and heavy rains. Described by the UN as ‘one of the worst weather-related disasters in Africa’, it has caused extensive damage and devastated the lives of more than 2.6 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

A second cyclone in just six weeks, Cyclone Kenneth, has now brought torrential rains to northern Mozambique, causing flash floods, burst rivers, potential landslides and storm surges, putting another 160,000 people at risk and killing at least 9 people. This second large-scale disaster is another massive blow to the country.

Cholera spreading at an alarming rate

The full scale of Cyclone Idai is still unfolding. Massive floods waters have destroyed homes, hospitals, schools, farms and agricultural land, damaging roads and washing away bridges. Thousands of people are still isolated in difficult to reach areas, some only accessible by helicopter or boat.

Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced following the cyclone. They have gathered in transit camps, with little or no access to clean drinking water or sanitation services, heightening the risk of water-borne diseases. The threat of a cholera epidemic is high. It is spreading now in Mozambique, with the number of cases soaring over 6,500.

Oxfam's response

Despite huge access and logistical challenges, Oxfam teams are working around the clock to assess the needs and deliver aid to those worst affected. In coordination with local partners, we are planning to reach up to 450,000 people across the three countries with clean water, sanitation services, food and emergency shelters.

Our response is focused on preventing and stopping the spread of deadly diseases such as cholera and malaria through activities that include:

  • water trucking to households without clean and safe water
  • providing temporary latrines with hand washing facilities
  • distributing buckets, water bladders and hygiene kits
  • training up volunteers to increase hygiene awareness and deliver key messaging to communities

Your help is urgently needed

This crucial work needs to happen on a larger scale, and faster. Our priority is to reach the many communities in hard to reach areas, by any means possible. People’s lives are still in danger and we need to act now.