ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
Cyclone Kenneth made landfall on Thursday in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province [Mike Hutchings/Reuters]

THERE are fears of a new cyclone in Mozambique, which could have devastating impact on thousands already enduring a spiraling crisis in terror prone Cabo Delgado.


Rains have been battering the region over the last week, exposing refugees who have fled their homes amid violence perpetrated by Islamists in recent years and peaked since the end of March.


The World Food Programme (WFP) lamented that the displaced people, a majority of them women and children, were crowding under flimsy tarpaulin sheets, sheltering from the wind and rain. The agency sent a reminder that this part of the country is no stranger to extreme weather hazards and the cyclone season still posed a threat to communities.
This time two years ago, Intense Tropical Cyclone Kenneth became the strongest such cyclone to make landfall in Mozambique.


And Cabo Delgado was the epicentre. No less than 52 people died from the floods and winds blowing at a maximum 215 km/h. Recent attacks in the coastal town of Palma have affected 50 000 people. Many have fled Palma to Pemba on boats, making their perilous journey over rough waters. Thousands are still trapped in Palma and Quitunda.


“Survivors are traumatized. They’ve had to flee leaving behind all their belongings and families have been separated,” Antonella Daprile, WFP Country Director for Mozambique, said on Thursday. Malnutrition is on the rise. A recent survey by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WFP found that almost 21 percent of displaced children under 5, and 18 percent of host children, are underweight.


Conflict is fuelling hunger in northern Mozambique. More than 950 000 people now face severe hunger. WFP urgently requires US$82 million (R1,1 billion) to respond to the crisis in northern Mozambique. – CAJ News