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Oxfam delivers clean water to Cyclone Idai survivors

By Oxfam
Oxfam is delivering clean water to a camp for people displaced by Cyclone Idai near Beira, Mozambique. Micas Mondlane / Oxfam Novib

As the number of confirmed cholera cases increases, aid organizations respond to crisis in southern Africa with water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Aid organizations continue to provide assistance to people affected by the heavy rains and floods from Cyclone Idai, which hit the eastern coast of southern Africa in the middle of March. In Mozambique, the number of confirmed cholera cases is increasing, and aid organizations are working to address the public health threat.

At the point where the storm came ashore in the city of Beira on the coast of Mozambique, more than 600 families (roughly 2,200 people) are seeking shelter, clean water, food, and medical care at one camp set up near the Golden Peacock luxury hotel. Oxfam is delivering clean water to the camp, storing it in large bladders, and setting up pipes and taps as well as temporary latrines.

Oxfam is working with local groups and has helped distribute 50 tents, 2,000 hygiene kits (including soap and clean buckets for storing water), and 200 family kits (containing blankets and other items) near Beira and Dondo. Oxfam and other aid organizations have reached more than 5,000 survivors with emergency supplies in Mozambique.

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People displaced by Cyclone Idai get water from a tap installed with help from Oxfam near Beira. Micas Mondlane / Oxfam

Oxfam is also prioritizing hygiene promotion in order to head off the outbreak of diseases among populations in flooded areas that lack clean water and proper sanitation. The organization is training local volunteers to teach storm survivors how to avoid disease by treating drinking water with chlorine bleach and other chemicals, and keeping their hands clean to avoid transmitting communicable diseases. Media reports indicate there are now nearly 300 cases of cholera in Beira.

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Julia Pedro’s house collapsed and she is seeking shelter with another family member near Beira. She volunteered to work in the poor neighborhood Praia Nova, which was badly affected by Cyclone Idai, because she says the people in the area “do not know enough about dangerous diseases like cholera, and I want to help them save their children.” Micas Mondlane / Oxfam Novib

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