Mozambique cyclone survivors picking up the pieces of their lives

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JOHANNESBURG, April 10 – Survivors of devastating Cyclone Idai in Mozambique’s busy port city of Beira are picking up the pieces of their lives with grim determination as the search for survivors in neighbouring Zimbabwe continues.

On Tuesday, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said that nearly one month after the cyclone slammed into the southeast African coast, the streets of Mozambique’s busy port city of Beira are “returning to life”.

According to IOM, freighters and other heavy vessels are once again plying the shipping lanes along Beira’s waterfront, while beachfront bistros attracted enough business last weekend, to cause traffic jams.

Teams have also begun relocating families who sheltered in the Matadoura School to the San Pedro emergency camp on the outskirts of the city.

On Monday, IOM helped set up a much larger settlement closer to the centre of Beira, on the grounds of the Samora Machel Secondary School, by assisting in installing a flexible reservoir that holds 30,000 litres of potable water.

“The challenge now is shifting to the outlying countryside,” IOM said, pointing to Beira’s Buzi River district in the southwest, which was only accessible by helicopter until last week.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix teams have been working through the forested areas of Manica and Macate provinces, assessing the needs of internally displaced people living in temporary shelters.

As of Monday, the death toll in Mozambique stood at 602 people. Approximately 2,772 cases of cholera have been reported, with six people succumbing to the disease. Thousands of people have received oral cholera vaccines during a six-day emergency campaign, which ended on Monday.

In Zimbabwe, which along with Malawi, also suffered damage from the cyclone, IOM teams visited Manicaland to assess the needs of those living in the Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

Around 270,000 people were affected by the flooding, with the agency reporting that an estimated 21,000 were displaced, many from Kopa and Ngangu, two Chimanimani communities where more than 77 households were reduced to rubble and 305 people remain missing.

– African News Agency (ANA)