Comboni Lay Missionaries

Mozambique: A Missionary informs us on the situation in the central part of the country

Mozambique: A Missionary informs us on the situation in the central part of the country

Mozambique

April 2, 2019 Fr. Constantino Bogaio, Provincial of the Comboni Missionaries in Mozambique, tells us about the current situation after the destruction caused by the Cyclone Idai. The arrival of Cyclone Idai, with winds reaching 120 to 220 kmph and vry heavy rain, left in the city of Beira and its surroundings a trail of destruction never seehn or experienced before in the history of Mozambique.

In a short time the city was left deserted, ghostly, in a desolate situation. Walking through the avenues, the streets, the roadways one could see the houses destroyed, hospitals torn apart, the ruins of the churches, fallen trees, light and telephone poles thrown here and there. The city of Chiveve had a blackout that affected 95% of its buildings, except for the airport that was turned into a shelter for the locals and for the foreigners arriving to help. In neighborhoods such as Munhava, Muchatazine, Vaz, Chota, Ndunda and others, besides the destruction of homes, there was extended flooding.   While the second city of the country was beginning to estimate the damage done by the cyclone and raise from its wounded pride, it started to receive bad news reaching one bit at the time, because the only land connection was cut off by the fury of the waters of the rivers Pungue, Búzi and Muda and their tributaries that flooded over their banks in the district of Dondo, Búzi, Nhamatanda, and Chibabava in the province of Sofala.

Mozambique

This is the only land connection between Beira and the other cities. Thus the suffering of the people became even worse. For almost a week they were almost totally isolated on the ground. Basic products were getting scarce and the constat rain made people’s lives very miserable.   The international community, arrived to give help, chose as its top priority to save lives in the surrounding districts, moving people to Beira. Thus a number of shelters were set up around the city.

  1. Some preliminary general data from the affected areas
We must emphasize that no one knows the exact numbers: Classrooms destroyed: 3140 Students affected: 90,756 Homes destroyed: 19,730 Dead: The dad in these areas are more than 500, but the numbers of missing people is not yet known.

Mozambique

  1. The Comboni Missionaries
In the city of Beira we work in the suburb of Chota where more than 70 thousand people live. At the moment, 270 families had their homes destroyed and we have 170 families in immediate need of support, food and other necessities. So, in this first phase, our job will be to support these people. The second phase will be to rebuild the homes, build a school as well as a youth center in the parish so that children and young people will have activities, because what was there before was built of wood and clay and the cyclone destroyed it completely. We want to build this youth center to give hope to the children, adolescents and young people who survived, but it must be a solid and resistant structure. We also want to create a support group for the mothers for health and nutritional education.
  1. Health situation
The area of Chota is the continuation of the largest neighborhood of Beira which is currently already being attacked by cholera. There are rumors of 200 people already ill, but this number can increase. A vaccination campaign is already under way. The neighborhood of Chota is in a high state of alert. It is hoped that it will not reach this part, because it would add another disaster since the river waters that flooded it have not yet receded. Malaria is also an immediate concern. Fifteen days after the cyclone, the stagnant water and the puddles are a great source of incubation for the mosquitos that bring this disease.

Mozambique

  1. The situation in Muxúngue
The parish of Muxúngue is about 350 km from Beira. The areas worst hit were Nhahápua, Goonda Madjaka and Gurudja crossed by the Rivers Muda and Búzi. The missionaries think that about 120 home have been destroyed. On the average, each family has about six children. In this area, our intervention will be complete after all the people will have returned. We will help them rebuild their homes. Currently the local authorities are giving support at other levels. Our missionary experience tells us that, after this avalanche of support, it will be necessary to put together a support program of reconstruction of all that was lost and help people to get back to a normal life. We need your solidarity and support in order to give people hope. Your support in this immediate phase will be to buy food and our basic products. In the next phase we will support the reconstruction of the infrastructures to bring the life of our brothers and sisters back to normal. Already now we wish to thank those who already sent their donations to support these brothers and sisters and we hope you will continue to help in the next and more painful phase. (you may join the solidarity campaign of the Comboni Missionaries in Mozambique). May God bless each one of you, through the intercession of St. Daniel Comboni. Fr. Constantino Bogaio, mccj

Fuente: Boletin misionero Portugal

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