On 15 March 2019, Cyclone Idai hit southern Africa and has since caused devastation across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The flooding and destruction has killed and injured thousands of people, and left almost 3 million more in need of urgent humanitarian aid.
In Mozambique, as of 25 March, the official death toll was 447, and the UN humanitarian agency, Ocha, says more than 1.8 million people have been affected. As well as this, 500,000 hectares of crops have been compromised and 3,140 schools have been damaged or destroyed.
In Malawi, the government has reported that over 900,000 people have been affected and more than 94,000 people are estimated to have been displaced.
After passing through Beira, Mozambique, Cyclone Idai brought a huge amount of rain within a 24-hour period, particularly in bordering Manicaland province in Zimbabwe. As a result of the storm, at least 259 people have died in Zimbabwe, 84 schools have been damaged, and 50,000 households have been affected.
The latest figure puts the overall death toll at over 700 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and survivors now face the risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
The response so far
At Kaplan, we work closely with Plan International UK. Their teams are on the ground, assessing the needs of children and their communities in the wake of this disaster. Plan International UK have already responded by providing life-saving essential supplies, including:
- safe drinking water
- hygiene kits
- shelter kits
- mosquito nets
- water containers
However, there is so much more that needs to be done.
Plan International teams have been responding since the first days of the emergency, and the situation remains critical. That's why Plan International UK has developed a 12-month response to help those affected. The initial plan is to reach 279,725 people by focusing on providing food, shelter, clean water and essential household items to the worst-affected families, as well as sourcing education materials for children, and strengthening child protection.
How to donate
Plan International UK is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which brings together 14 leading UK aid charities in times of crisis. Plan is also working in close collaboration with the government and other NGOs in each of the 3 countries to ensure that there is no overlap in terms of technical focus and geographic coverage.
The severity of this disaster cannot be understated; the UN has warned that the emergency is one of the worst weather-related disasters ever to impact the southern hemisphere. It is important for aid agencies to work together to support those in need, and try to ensure their survival.
A single donation of £27 is enough to provide blankets to 9 children to keep them warm and dry.
If you would like to contribute to Plan International UK’s relief efforts, please donate here.