Practical Action has released emergency funds to help people in Malawi and Zimbabwe cope with the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.
The funds will be used to make contact with people and assess damage in affected areas where the organisation works.
Staff will assess damage to people’s housing, infrastructure and crops and propose activities to support the medium-term recovery process.
Proposals will seek to use Practical Action’s existing expertise in existing projects in the disaster hit areas of Manicaland Province in Zimbabwe and Chikwawa and Sanje Districts in Malawi.
Regional Director for Practical Action in Southern Africa, Kudzai Marovanidze said: “We know that the people we work with on a daily basis are suffering and our thoughts are with them at this desperate time.
“The cyclone hit just before the harvest season and people will have lost all their crops.
“Our staff are urgently assessing the situation to find out the extent of the damage and what we can do to help. However, the picture remains chaotic and complex.
“Practical Action is not a humanitarian response organisation. As such, we will not be implementing emergency cash or food distribution programmes.
“Instead, we will continue our focus on building resilience into the lives of vulnerable people, helping them to adapt their lives and livelihoods and be better prepared and equipped to cope with disasters like this in future.
“This could involve looking at solar technology, livestock development, tools, seeds and/or resilient agriculture techniques.
“In addition, we have successful resilience programmes in progress elsewhere in the world and over the coming weeks we will be looking at how to transfer the knowledge and learning from our work in Nepal, Peru and Bangladesh to Southern Africa.
“Practical Action staff in the UK and in Southern Africa will also be approaching institutional donors to our current projects in the region to ask them for additional funds to help us implement the recovery process.”
Communities Practical Action works with in Chikwawa, Nsanje and Machinga districts in the Southern Region of Malawi, Mutare, Makoni, Mutasa and Zaka districts in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces of Zimbabwe have been particularly devastated by the cyclone.
In all these areas, Practical Action has been working to improve the income and resilience of farmers and families by providing clean energy, improved farming techniques and links to marketsDetails of work in the affected areas can be found here: https://practicalaction.org/southern-africa-programmes
Areas set to benefit from Practical Action’s recent UK Aid Match-supported Planting for Progress Appeal are not heavily affected by the Cyclone.