Cyclone Idai: People with disabilities are especially vulnerable
Update April 3rd, 2019
Our Light for the World staff has been working around the clock, on the ground, since Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique. Despite the fact that this natural disaster has directly impacted our staff and partially destroyed their homes, they have been tirelessly committed to helping people with disabilities during this emergency. The people of Mozambique urgently need food, medical care, and safety.
The difference your donations make:
In recent weeks, many supporters have contributed to our work in Mozambique, we are very thankful for your support. Your donations are making the following impact:
- Thousands are being assisted. We are distributing groceries, medicine, emergency kits, and other vital items.
- We are making roads accessible again so that emergency vehicles can pass through.
- We want to provide children with disabilities psychosocial support and health care.
- In Dondo and Beira we are providing, with the help of our partners, immediate emergency aid for children and adults with disabilities affected by the disaster. Almost 2,000 people with disabilities live there.
- Aid organizations are being trained to specifically take into account and include the needs of people with disabilities.
- We support refugee camps in the inclusion and rehabilitation of people with disabilities who have been displaced within Mozambique.
- We have provided the operating room of our eye clinic for emergency operations - because the hospital in Beira has been destroyed.
Nevertheless - our office, the homes of employees and partners in Beira, and the eye clinic must quickly be rebuilt so that we can continue our work.
Update March 25th, 2019
People with disabilities, especially the elderly and children, are particularly affected by the disaster. The following problems one week after the storm are especially concerning:
- Diseases are spreading,
- Food prices have tripled and quadrupled due to scarcity,
- There is a lack of food and clean water,
- The drinking water is poisoned by the flood because the water sources are contaminated,
- The harvest is now destroyed, a few weeks before the intended harvest
Light for the World has developed 4 intervention projects amounting to 320,000 euros within one week in the Beira office with its 18 employees in cooperation with the headquarters in Vienna. Activities:
Inclusive emergency aid for people with disabilities for the general population in Chibabava and Búzi in collaboration with 4 mission stations
- Thousands of people will be assisted
- Roads must be made accessible again in order to transport the injured and the ill
- Identify children with disabilities in schools to ensure psychosocial support and access to health care
- Distribution of food and other vital resources
Immediate emergency relief for children and adults with disabilities affected by the cyclone in the provinces of Dondo and Beira through our partners
- Nearly 2,000 people live there with disabilities, more than 800 are to be cared for
- Experienced rehabilitation aides provide immediate assistance to people with disabilities in affected areas
- Distribution of food, medicine and emergency kits to affected families
- Aid organizations are specially trained to respond to people's needs
Inclusion and rehabilitation in the refugee camps in Mozambique, we help with transportation to the camps
- Technical and logistic support of camp management in dealing with people with disabilities within the camps
- Identification and needs assessment of people within the camps
- Place signs and ensure accessibility
- Training of the auxiliary staff and building of child-friendly rooms in the camps
Reconstruction of the new eye clinic, especially the roof must be quickly covered so that the hospital operations can resume as soon as possible
- Short-term solution and a long-term durable roof so that the planned 13,000 eye examinations and 1,600 eye operations // year can resume
Reconstruction of the Light for the World office and the homes of employees and partners in Beira so that project work can continue.
Update March 20th, 2019
Last week, Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique and triggered a massive humanitarian crisis.
President Filipe Nyusi has said the death toll in the country could be as high as 1,000, and experts predict the total number killed will only be known when floodwaters recede. There are reports that 400,000 people have been made homeless, and countless families have lost all their belongings, crops, businesses, and thus their livelihoods.
The port city Beira, where the storm made landfall, is especially affected. Approximately 90 percent of the buildings in the city have been destroyed or damaged. People are stranded by rising flood waters, food and clean water are scarce, and all road links are blocked, so there is now no access to the city via land.
People with disabilities are especially vulnerable in emergency situations such as this. Those who are visually impaired or people with mobility issues often can’t leave buildings, so they are trapped and fail to get equal access to emergency programmes. They are also particularly in danger when it comes to rising flood waters.
These people are in desperate need of your help. We want to help them rebuild their lives. Please donate now.
For more information on developments please check here:
Update March 15, 2019
Yesterday night, a cyclone hit one of Mozambique’s major cities, Beira. Winds of up to 170 km/h left the city destroyed. Its 500,000 residents are now without electricity and communications have been severed. All in all, more than 100 people have been killed by rains caused by the cyclone, and thousands have been left without a home.
People with disabilities are especially vulnerable in emergency situations such as this. It is likely that flooding will follow, which presents additional danger. Those who are visually impaired or people with mobility issues often can’t leave buildings, so they are trapped and fail to get equal access to emergency programmes.
We are committed to supporting our local community partners to help people affected by the flood, particularly people with disabilities, and their rehabilitation. Once we have a better overview of the situation on the ground, we will make plans as to how to best tackle the situation and will provide updates.
For more information on developments in the country please check here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-47576831
In the meantime please join the Light for the World response to help support those affected by Cyclone Idai, and donate now.
Image used for free for editorial purposes until 30.06.2019
Photo credit: ADRIEN BARBIER / AFP / picturedesk.com