Red Cross volunteers in Mozambique and Zimbabwe continue to respond in the aftermath of Cyclone Dineo, as the impact of the storm emerges. In Zimbabwe, heavy rain across the southern provinces has caused serious flooding affecting an estimated 50,000 people.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has deployed rapid assessment teams to the affected provinces, working closely with the National Civil Protection Committee. Already, 100 volunteers have been involved in this first phase of the Red Cross response in the five provinces of Masvingo, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Manicaland and Midland.

“Even as all eyes were on Mozambique, our colleagues in the Zimbabwe Red Cross were mounting a response effort,” said Lorraine Mangwiro, the Head of the IFRC’s Country Cluster Support Team for southern Africa. “For many communities, these floods come directly on the back of persistent drought and food insecurity. These successive crises have eroded the capacity of people to cope with what they are now facing. They will need our help.”

To aid these efforts, the IFRC today released 108,000 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to the Zimbabwe Red Cross. These funds will support initial needs assessments, as well as the distribution of shelter kits, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting and aqua tabs to about 2,000 of the worst-affected families.

What is in an IFRC shelter kit?

Impact in Mozambique less drastic than expected

Cyclone Dineo first made landfall in Mozambique’s Inhambane Province late on 15 February as a Category I tropical cyclone. Reports received from the affected areas over the weekend indicate that the impact was considerably less than initial projections produced by the government.

Nevertheless, for those who were affected, the situation is severe, and assistance will be required for some time. In a cruel irony, many of the areas worst-hit by Dineo were already grappling with the consequences of the prolonged drought that has gripped the country and other parts of southern Africa since late 2015.

“Mercifully, Dineo’s impact in Mozambique wasn’t as bad as was projected. But there are still pressing humanitarian needs,” says Jamie LeSueur, the IFRC’s Disaster Management Coordinator for Southern Africa who deployed to Mozambique to support the national Red Cross. “Some of the communities we have been supporting to recover from the drought have now been hit again by the storm, which has further eroded their resilience and food security.

“They will need to be accompanied over the medium-term to rebuild their livelihoods. We’re looking now at how we most efficiently and effectively provide that support, in partnership with the Mozambique Red Cross.”

In the immediate term, Mozambique Red Cross will distribute shelter kits, iron sheets and timber to about 770 families, along with mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria.