250 000 affected by Cyclone Kenneth, food security remains a major concern, Mozambique


Tropical Cyclone "Kenneth" made landfall in the province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique on April 25, 2019 with maximum sustained winds of 220 km/h (140 mph), killing at least 41 people. This made it the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale – the first such cyclone to hit the province since records began 60 years ago.

The number of people affected by the cyclone had risen to nearly 250 000 people as of May 6, including 217 122 people in Cabo Delgado and 32 862 people in Nampula, according to the Government of Mozambique.

More than 45 300 houses had been recorded as destroyed or damaged, and government and humanitarian workers visiting key areas estimated that about 85% of houses assessed were destroyed. Many areas remain without power more than 10 days since landfall.

Children’s education has been hard-hit, with at least 477 classrooms destroyed or damaged, impacting nearly 42 000 school-age children, according to the INGC.

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At least 19 health facilities have been destroyed or damaged, UN OCHA reported May 6. In multiple locations, shortages of essential medicines – including anti-malaria treatment and medicines for diarrhea – have been reported. Reestablishment of sexual and reproductive health facilities is a priority.

The only health center in Mucojo sede was significantly damaged by the cyclone, with most of the roof ripped off and all equipment and supplies destroyed or damaged. The solar panels for the cold chain were damaged, leaving no appropriate storage for vaccines, while stocks of antiretrovirals (ARV) drugs were reportedly destroyed. In Matemo, loss of power has broken the cold chain and there are no vaccines.

An outbreak of cholera was confirmed on 1, rising to 75 suspect cases by May 5.

Landfall took place in the middle of the northern region harvest, affecting at least 55 488 hectares (137 000 acres) of crops, including rice, beans, maize and cassava. Additionally, pre-cyclone harvests were either washed away or spoiled and not fit for human consumption.

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At least 41 people were killed in Mozambique and 8 in Comoros.

Featured image credit: Médicos Sin Fronteras

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