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In Mozambique the death toll has risen to 202, but could rise to hundreds or thousands as the full extent of the disaster becomes known. At least 600,000 people are affected across five provinces.
“Emergencies often cause already fragile water and sanitation systems to break down or become damaged. [They] put girls and young women in particular in a very vulnerable situation. Also, lack of access to clean water increases the likelihood of an outbreak of waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera,” says Anne C Hoff, Country Director for Plan International Mozambique.
Heavy, non-stop rain in early March had already severely affected most parts of the Southern Region of Malawi. Cyclone Idai is now known to have caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of children and girls are in need of emergency shelter and aid.
“We will start responding in Mulanje district by providing lifesaving needs in the priority sectors of food, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and shelter," says Daniel Muchena, Country Director of Plan International Malawi.
In Zimbabwe, more than a hundred people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced across the affected region. Eight bridges have been destroyed in the Chimanimani district, making the area inaccessible by road.
“Our immediate concern is for the women and children who are now cut off from assistance due to the damage affecting most roads, making it impossible to travel. The heavy rains continue to pound the affected areas putting them at higher risk," says Angela Muriithi, Country Director of Plan International Zimbabwe.
Our response on the ground
Our colleagues are co-ordinating closely with the national governments, partners and other humanitarian organisations in all three countries to ensure we identify and address the needs of families affected by this disaster.
We are focusing on the safety, security and needs of children, especially girls and young women – including expectant and breastfeeding mothers – and our team will work to ensure those affected get the life-saving support they need.
Note for sponsors of children in the affected region
Should your sponsored child, or the area in which they live, have been affected by this disaster, we will be in touch as soon as possible.