Cyclone Idai hits Beira
On the 14th March 2019, cyclone Idai hit the coast of Mozambique at Beira with 106 mile-an-hour winds and a 4 metre storm surge.
The storm destroyed around 90% of Beira's buildings including homes, businesses and government centres as well as knocking out power and communication. The main hospital in Beira, the 2nd biggest in the country, was badly damaged and doctors ended up working in overcrowded wards walking through water on the floors.
Casa Reom was also damaged by the storm. There was damage to the roof of the main dormitory when a large tree fell onto it but miraculously, none of the boys were hurt. The classrooms and some of buildings under construction were damaged.
Impact on people
The international response saw charities and NGOs becoming involved in distributing food aid and temporary shelter to the wost affected areas. However, not everyone was eligible and many people's lives are still darmatically affected.
The majority of Mozambique rely on crops grown in fields as most cannot afford food bought in shops. With the maize harvest lost around 1.7 million people will need food aid for at least the next year. Many people are still living in homes destroyed by the cyclone.
The CBBC Newsround website captured the immediate impact of the cyclone through the eyes of one of the YWAM staff team's children, Marta, which shows the damage at Casa Reom and the aid flight organised by the Trust.
Casa Reom repaired
Because of the generous response to the cyclone appeal, the dormitory and classrooms have now been repaired and further work is ongoing to improve the resiliance of the centre to future weather events.
A key issues after the cyclone was access to clean water and the appeal has also allowed the water supply system to be upgraded which wil benefit not only Casa Reom but its immediate neighbours as well.
The Casa Reom staff are now co-ordinating projects in and around Beira helping to re-build houses for people who lost everything in the storm.
For an update on the house building project see the separate news item...
Within a week of the cyclone's devastating effect, Casa Reom Trust were able to mobilise a response in partnership with YWAM, Mercy Air and other international organisations. Shephen Mbewe, the previous leader of YWAM Mozambique, fly to South Africa where he linked with a relief flight provided by Mercy Air which brought emergency supplies on behalf of the Trust. This was while other relief organisations were still in the early planning stages of a response.
A partner organisation, “RescueNet International”, sent a trained disater relief team to help with the international recovery operation. The team worked with the government and UN officials to visit remote areas, providing food and emergency medical treatment, while at the same time helping to build up a picture of the most affected areas. Casa Reom staff were able to support the team as they helped with in the displaced peoples villages around Beira.
Mercy Air is an established YWAM partner and for a while they provided the only helicopter working in Beira after the cyclone. Mercy Air helped Casa Reom and other relief organisations in the disaster response thanks to a dedicated team of pilots and volunteers. Mercy Air were also able to help Casa Reom to obtain a much needed part for the centre's vehicle which was off the road for many months following a breakdown.