United Nations Gives Mozambique $13 Million for Cyclone Kenneth Damage

April 29, 2019 Updated: April 29, 2019

MAPUTO—The United Nations will grant Mozambique and the Comoros Islands $13 million in emergency funds to help provide food and water and repair damage to infrastructure, the organization said late on April 28, after the second cyclone in a month slammed into the region.

Cyclone Kenneth crashed into the northern province of the southern African nation on Thursday just as it was recovering from Cyclone Idai that hit further south last month.

Cyclone Idai 4
Survivors of Cyclone Idai arrive by rescue boat in Beira, Mozambique, on March 21, 2019. (Denis Onyodi—Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre via AP)

Idai, the worst tropical storm to hit the region in decades, moved into neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi, killing more than 1,000 people.

Weather experts are warning that Kenneth could dump twice as much rain on northern Mozambique as Idai did.

The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique, on April 27, 2019. (OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via Reuters)

The storm has already taken five people’s lives as it unleashed heavy rains and flooding that has seen rivers burst their banks and smash whole villages.

Cyclone Kenneth hit the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado late on Thursday, flattening entire villages with winds of up to 174 mph.

flooding Mozambique
Helicopter footage shows flooding and damage after Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, on March 17, 2019. (International Federation Of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies via Reuters)

The World Bank estimates Mozambique and other countries affected by the tropical storm will need over $2 billion to recover.

Mozambique also faces a cholera epidemic after the cyclone wiped out water and sanitation facilities.

“This new allocation of Central Emergency Response Fund funds will help humanitarian partners to scale up the response to address the needs of those most vulnerable in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth”, said U.N. Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock in a statement.

Earlier in April, The International Monetary Fund granted the southern African nation a $118.2 million credit facility.

Cholera Epidemic in Mozambique

Cholera is spread by feces in sewage-contaminated water or food, and outbreaks can develop quickly in a humanitarian crisis where sanitation systems are disrupted. It can kill within hours if left untreated.

People walk on a re-constructed road after the original road was destroyed by the cyclone Idai in John Segredo, on March 24, 2019. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

The secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said after a visit to Mozambique that the situation there was a “ticking bomb” as regards waterborne diseases.

Elhadj As Sy said, “I’m raising that alarm because so many of these waterborne diseases are a great risk but they are preventable.”

By Mfuneko Toyana