Cyclone Idai: “Our Roof was Flying like a Bird”

 Emergency Response
 16th Apr 2019

By Aderito Bie, Communications Officer, CARE Mozambique

14-year-old Diolinda Fabião stood outside and watched as Cyclone Idai’s furious winds ripped the roof off her house. “Our roof was flying like a bird. I held my brother´s hand and we ran as fast as we could to a find a safe place to stay. We were very scared,” she says.

Most of the houses here in the village of Praia Nova are made from tightly woven palm and thatch. Idai is however, not the first storm to bring destruction to Praia Nova, as 16-year-old Mariamo Humberto recalls.

“This time it was different,” Mariamo, who sought shelter at a nearby school says. “When we returned back home three days after the storm, all I could find were some dishes, and metal sheets that had once been our roof.”

Both girls are keen to return to school for normal classes but it’s difficult as classrooms are still being used as shelter for stranded villagers.

According to authorities in Mozambique, more than 73,000 people are living in temporary shelters, most of them are schools and community buildings. Over 3,000 classrooms have been destroyed, meaning the education of 

330,000 students has been affected.“I don´t know when I am going to start my lessons again,” says Diolinda. “We were told to wait because our school is being used as a temporary shelter. My notebooks were swept away, and I have no books left to learn on my own in the meantime. I really miss my classmates and I want to go back to school.”

CARE is assisting cyclone affected communities in and around Beira. In the immediate aftermath of Ida, CARE distributed emergency items including tarpaulins, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, bathing soap, and jerry cans, as well as chlorine tablets for clean drinking water. To date, CARE has reached nearly 22,000 people and is planning to scale-up its response over the next couple of months.

Learn more about CARE's work in Mozambique.

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