April 8, 2019
By Juan Camilo Suárez Colmenares
Nearly two weeks ago, Cyclone Idai’s 175 kph winds and strong rains caused mudslides and flooding in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and some regions of Malawi. The cyclone hit land in Mozambique and then battered areas of Malawi and Zimbabwe. There, in the remote and mountainous Chimanimani district, is one of PWRDF’s newest partners, TSURO Trust.
TSURO is located in the path of the storm and staff lost people close to them. An intern working with them died, one of the drivers lost his mother and a board member lost six siblings and their families. TSURO has already organized emergency relief responses from its headquarters.
The NGO has a strong track record in local in communities and local government and therefore is handling most of the relief work in the area, and has received supplies from international relief agencies.
The area received approximately 750 millimetres of rain in three days, says PWRDF External Funding Program Manager Richard Librock, who is in regular contact with staff at TSURO. “The region was blown by strong winds sideways against north facing hills and mountains, with devastating effect. Houses were just buried by landslides with no survivors.”
Librock adds, “This climate change event has generated a lot of lessons to be learned concerning road and settlement planning, land use governance, inequality, agro-ecological practice, disaster preparedness and more.”