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What you need to know about Cyclone Idai and how you can help

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“People in the cyclone-hit areas of Mozambique are clinging desperately to rooftops in areas virtually submerged by flood water, awaiting aid and rescue”

– Save The Children

What happened?

Cyclone Idai swept through Southern Africa, making landfall near the port city of Beira in Sofala province on Thursday 14th March, with winds of up to 177 km/h (106 mph) and making its way through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

According to the UN, this cyclone may be the worst disaster to ever strike the Southern Hemisphere, affecting an estimated 2.6 million people across the 3 countries and the port, where the latter was once home to over 500,000 people and is now, essentially “an island in the ocean.”

“Thousands of children lived in areas completely engulfed by water. In many places, no roofs or treetops are even visible above the floods. In other areas, people are clinging to rooftops desperately waiting to be rescued,”

– Machiel Pouw, Save the Children’s response leader in Mozambique.

While the current death toll stands at 84, it is feared that in reality over 1000 have died as a result of Cyclone Idai.

In Mozambique, it’s estimated that in the city of Mocuba alone, more than 2000 homes have been destroyed.In Malawi, nearly 739,800 people have been affected by flooding, according to the Government, with 75,900 people estimated to be displaced.

What is a cyclone and what is the difference between it and a hurricane and typhoon?

In short, a cyclone is a system of winds rotating inwards to an area of low pressure.

The only difference between a cyclone, hurricane and typhoon is the areas in which they take place. They are all basically the same thing, but are given different names depending on where they appear. While hurricanes are tropical storms, they only form over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific. Cyclones however, form over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. As for typhoons; they tend to form over the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

Pledges:

The European Union has announced it would send $3.97 million in emergency aid to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The United Arab Emirates has said it would send nearly $5 million in aid.

The aid consists of food supplies and food supplements for children, medical and medicinal supplies, as well as shelter supplies to assist 600,000 people across the countries.

UN organisation is planning to airdrop supplies and use boats to bring food to those in need.

How you can help?

A GoFundMe has been set up: Zimbabwe Cylcone Relief which has raised over USD$35,000 in just 3 days. All information and details regarding what the money will be used for and how it will reach Zimbabwe can be found on the GoFundMe.

Save The Children

Oxfam

UNICEF

Action Aid

British Red Cross

World Vision

…are all accepting donations (Please click each name respectably to access their websites where you can donate).

If you’re are on the ground in Southern Africa or a member of the Diaspora in communication with someone that is; simply spreading awareness through social media of ways people can help or highlighting areas greatly affected will help immensely.

Climate Change in Africa

 

“No continent will be struck as severely by the impacts of climate change as Africa.”

Why is climate change important with regards to African development?

It threatens economic growth due to a change in natural systems and resources, as well as long term prosperity and the survival of its vulnerable populations. It is a burden to sustainable development in Africa, as well an obstacle to achieving MDGs.

What is COP21? 

COP is an international political response to climate change. COP 21, also known as the 2015 Paris negotiations, aimed at achieving a universal agreement regarding the climate; to kelp global warming below 2°C.

What does this mean for Africa?

Although for Africa, a temperature below 2 degrees would have been more beneficial, this agreement nevertheless acts as a stepping stone towards long term development in Africa. AREI (Africa Renewable Energy Initiative), set to push through low-carbon development in Africa, received $10 billion in funding from international sources at COP21.

Have a read of this fact sheet which talks about what exactly is at stake, in terms of climate change in Africa.

Climate Change in Africa – What is at stake?

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