Cyclone Idai hits Southern Africa

18.03.2019 Climate changeDisasterCyclone IdaiEnvironment

Ruth Mdlongwa, Rustler’s Gorge irrigation scheme, Mashaba, Gwanda, Zimbabwe 2

Ruth Mdlongwa farms her land at a Practical Action project site in Gwanda, Zimbabwe

A cyclone has hit Southern Africa over the weekend, affecting some of Zimbabwe’s poorest people.

The cyclone has caused extensive damage in Zimbabwe, especially in Manicaland Province which borders Mozambique and where development group Practical Action runs a number of projects supporting some of the country’s most vulnerable communities. The official death toll is currently at 65, with 150-200 people still unaccounted for. Homes, roads, bridges, schools, clinics and other infrastructure have been damaged. The Zimbabwean government has declared a national disaster and has issued an appeal for assistance.

Kudzai Marovanidze, Southern Africa director of Practical Action said: “Practical Action has been working in Zimbabwe since 1989. With a long history in the country, we are concerned about the current situation and are monitoring it – especially its impact on the poorest and most vulnerable communities.

“We are working to confirm that all of our staff are safe and the impact that this event has had on our current projects.”

Climate change is leading to increasingly frequent and more severe hazards and disasters. Poor people are the most vulnerable and hardest hit. Practical Action continues to help make resilience a way of life, by advising people on how to adapt their lives to a changing climate and put plans and systems in place to predict disasters and minimise their impact.

We will be posting regular updates on our social media feeds and website.

If you are a member of the media please call +44 (0)1926 634400 and ask for the communications team or email news@practicalaction.org.uk.