9 May 2019

Mozambique: Nyusi Pledges Continued Support to Cyclone Victims

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday pledged that his government will continue to mobilise support to assist in the rapid recovery in the lives of people affected by the two cyclones that hit Mozambique over the past two months.

Cyclone Idai hit the central provinces on 14 March, while cyclone Kenneth struck the northern province of Cabo Delgado on 25 April.

Nyusi was speaking in the town of Memba in Nampula province. Although Cabo Delgado bore the brunt of Kenneth's cyclonic winds, the torrential rains brought by the cyclone also affected coastal regions in Nampula, particularly Memba district.

Speaking to a group of 260 cyclone victims in Memba, Nyusi, cited by Radio Mozambique, said "these are natural phenomena, but your government will always be with you".

The heavy rains had washed away roads and damaged other infrastructures in Memba. Nyusi admitted that the situation in the district was "very serious" because major bridges had been damaged, and it would take careful engineering work to repair them.

"That's why we're here", said the President. "We're people who think about solutions, and don't just complain and weep".

"We shall work to solve this problem", he promised. "We want to see if we can mobilise very quickly mobile bridges to assist on some stretches of roads, while on others the Ministry of Public Works will work to set up diversions, so as to make the roads passable".

Nyusi praised the families affected for obeying the recommendations from the authorities as the storm approached. He believed this had kept the death toll relatively low. The total number of confirmed deaths from cyclone Kenneth now stands at 45.

According to the Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) two mobile bridges are being moved to Memba - one from Macomia, in Cabo Delgado, and the other from Caia district, in Sofala province.

Shelter kits and agricultural tools such as hoes, axes and machetes, the INGC says are now being airlifted to Cabo Delgado, from where it will be relatively easy to move them to the cyclone victims in northern Nampula.

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