Relief for Mozambique

2019-05-01 06:00
A picture showing the flooding due to the cyclone in Mozambique.PHOTO: supplied

A picture showing the flooding due to the cyclone in Mozambique.PHOTO: supplied

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CYCLONE Idai’s after-effects still linger prominently in flood-ridden Mozambique and more so in the rural communities and villages, this according to Pieter­maritzburg-born couple Jinx and Dawn Reyneke, who have been staying in Mozambique after leaving their home to perform missionary work.

The cyclone, which brought about 700mm of rain accompanied by gale force winds, has ravaged the country and was labelled as a category three cyclone, one of the worst on record to affect Africa and the southern hemisphere.

In a letter addressed to members of Christ Church Pietermaritzburg, Reyneke said that he was at a loss for words regarding the cyclone’s effects.

“The devastation in some areas is heart-breaking.

Many folks lost their homes and everything in them. The majority of the fields were destroyed before the maize crop could be harvested,” said Reyneke.

Cheryl Hellberg, a facilitator of goods to Mozambique for relief aid, said that within 72-hours of receiving a plea from the Reynekes when the cyclone first hit they had managed to send two trucks with trailers to Mozambique with 2.5 tons of maize, rice, beans, soya, oil, blankets, clothes and other items.

The Reynekes and Hellberg say that they are thankful for relief agencies such as Mercy Air, World Food Program, Africa Inland Mission and the Red Cross for not overlooking the bush areas, with the Reynekes noting that flights carrying goods into the airfield are almost a daily occurrence.

“The problem with this disaster is that it not only requires immediate attention to hunger but also the addressing of the ongoing food supply problem until the next harvest, which is in February 2020,” said Hellberg.

Hellberg said that supplies will again be sent to Mozambique in June sometime. The area where the goods will be delivered is called Espungabera.

“So many people lost their lives due to the cyclone. Infrastructure has been destroyed, making relief efforts even harder to facilitate.

It is a horrible situation that the people there find themselves in,” said Hellberg, who called for Pietermaritzburg to rally around this plea from the Reynekes and heed the call to donate items for their relief aid.

The Reynekes say that, due to bridges being washed away, they now must transport goods over the river in canoes before they can distribute them.

The current situation in Mozambique is bleak, with water scarce and electricity only becoming available in the next two months.

“We are working non-stop to get food, clothes and medicines out to those in need and we ask the public to keep us in their prayers so that we might maintain physically, mentally and spiritually for the task ahead of us,” said the Reynekes.

Those willing to offer their assistance can contact Hellberg via email cherylh@avi.co.za

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