Last Thursday, Cyclone Kenneth hit the communities our charity Nema supports with a force never experienced before in Africa. All 16 villages are completely destroyed; over 80 people have lost their lives and 36,000 people are, right now, slowly starving and sleeping outside in torrential rain and many are badly injured. With a local team and an army of community volunteers to mobilise, we are possibly the best placed NGO to have a swift and long-lasting impact on the ground. We are doing everything we can to help our communities recover from this disaster.
Thanks to all our supporters, Nema Charity Manager, Gustavo Dias, has managed to source a 30 ton boat to take food to Guludo and all the accessible coastal villages in the Mucojo region. After 8 long days, support is finally gathering momentum in the area, and food can start reaching the villages that have been cut off. But, this is only the start. There are still so many supplies to source and homes to rebuild - the situation is still very much desperate.
A huge step back
Since Laura Tenison, Founder & CEO of JoJo came across Nema 10 years ago and decided to join forces with the organisation, we have achieved so much. We have reduced infant mortality dramatically, delivered healthcare, built schools and improved on education, implemented water pumps, improved general sanitation and lead successful enterprise projects with the local communities. Some of the Nema educated children are now trained nurses giving back to the communities! We have had great results, but this devastating cyclone has seen most of them washed away. It is a huge step back, but we will continue to push forward to rebuild what was lost and continue the fight to end poverty in this beautiful place.
"The people are desperate"
Gustavo has travelled to areas close to the cut off, devastated communities that cannot be reached due to heavy torrential rain that has washed away roads and collapsed bridges. He heard tales of devastation; most of the homes being destroyed, people living in the open in torrential rain with no food, no clothing.
Gustavo states, “The people are desperate. Too many people are hurt and there are no medical supplies. Each village has many dead. Some strong people are leaving on foot, but crossing the rivers is dangerous, not safe for the children. Please try to get help.”
8 days on, and finally the first food aid packages are arriving to the starving villages. The Nema and Guludo Lodge teams managed to distribute 4.5 tons of "matafome" - the high protein porridge used for the school feeding program - that was stored in a shipping container; this has made an enormous difference locally, but with the entire region having 36k people desperate for food, it feels like a drop in the ocean. Global aid agencies have descended on Pemba with the hope of distributing food via helicopter, but with torrential rain and the forecast not improving, so far our boat is the only option.
How can you help?
DONATE: We have started an urgent appeal for donations so we can do as much as possible on the ground right now and for the long-term recovery of Northern Mozambique.
Click here to make a donation.
SPREAD THE NEWS: With only a couple of features on the BBC news, we really need to share, share, share. The world needs to learn of the suffering and respond to it.
JOIN US: Get in touch to let us know if and how you'd like to help - this could include donating prizes for auctions/ raffles or with any relevant skills you might have.
A huge thank you to those who have supported and continue to support Nema. We will get through this difficult time working together and will not rest until the communities no longer need our support.