Cyclone Idai aftermath: Tens of thousands of people 'not yet reached'

The full extent of the damage caused by Cyclone Idai is becoming clearer as flood waters recede in Mozambique, the worst affected country.

On Thursday, a disaster management official put the death toll at 468, taking the combined number of deaths in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi to at least 700.

The Gift of the Givers' head of search, rescue and disaster coordination, Ahmed Bam says the rescue effort has now moved on to disease containment, with reported cholera cases on the rise.

As the water subsides and we reach more communities, the search and rescue effort in the first days have phased out, so now it's more medical concern and basically waterborne diseases are starting now.

Ahmed Bam, Head of search, rescue and disaster coordination - Gift of the Givers

In some of the regions... some cholera cases have been reported, so a huge drive now by the Ministry of Health and the local disaster coordinating centre in Mozambique and the World Health Organisation, is to try and get as much cholera medication out there to contain this.

Ahmed Bam, Head of search, rescue and disaster coordination - Gift of the Givers

As part of preventative measures, water purification is paramount he says.

A Canadian company has partnered with us and one of the ways of prevention is water purification tablets to put into the water... we've been installing water purification facilities...

Ahmed Bam, Head of search, rescue and disaster coordination - Gift of the Givers

With widespread flooding and destruction of infrastructure, disaster teams have to rely on helicopters to reach communities still waiting for assistance.

To give an example, a river which is normally 500 metres to a kilometre, became 50, 60 kilometres wide.

Ahmed Bam, Head of search, rescue and disaster coordination - Gift of the Givers

As the water recedes now, many villages were more accessible. We managed to do quite a lot of medivacs, and medical treatment and get doctors out to villages, as well as getting much needed food supplies to these villages.

Ahmed Bam, Head of search, rescue and disaster coordination - Gift of the Givers

Bam says it's only just becoming clear how many people are still cut off and in need of assistance.

From my rough estimates, there should be about 20-30,000 people that have not yet been reached - small, small villages.

Ahmed Bam, Head of search, rescue and disaster coordination - Gift of the Givers

As the days go by, the death toll just increases... in the days to come, the months to come and the years to come, it will take a lot to recover from this.

Ahmed Bam, Head of search, rescue and disaster coordination - Gift of the Givers

Listen to the full conversation below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Solidarity reports back after Eskom-labour meeting

Solidarity reports back after Eskom-labour meeting

Deputy general secretary Deon Reyneke says the meeting was positive and a second is scheduled in the coming week.

Why playing board games with your child is important (and fun!)

Why playing board games with your child is important (and fun!)

Parenting expert Nikki Bush explores the life lessons to be had from spending quality game time with kids.

CT Stadium CEO answers to allegations City not taking soccer seriously

CT Stadium CEO answers to allegations City not taking soccer seriously

Lesley De Reuck explains why upcoming match between Cape Town City and Kaizer Chiefs had to be moved to Newlands Stadium.

IFP says historic conference ready to elect successor to Mangosuthu Buthelezi

IFP says historic conference ready to elect successor to Mangosuthu Buthelezi

MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa gives the lowdown on what to expect from the party's weekend national elective conference.

Cut-outs of traffic cops meant to have 'calming effect' on speeding CT motorists

Cut-outs of traffic cops meant to have 'calming effect' on speeding CT motorists

Social media's just cottoned on to the fakes, but spokesperson Richard Coleman says they've been in use for almost two years.

'Tweaking' your property to get the best selling price in a depressed market

'Tweaking' your property to get the best selling price in a depressed market

Expert Rowan Alexander shares tips on refreshing the exterior and interior of your home after possible neglect due to the drought.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] SA's Ndlovu Youth Choir through to America's Got Talent semi-finals

[LISTEN] SA's Ndlovu Youth Choir through to America's Got Talent semi-finals

The choir has been wowing TV audiences in the US and across the world with their energetic performances.

Surfer comes up with insp-EYE-ring way to ward off sharks - take a look!

Surfer comes up with insp-EYE-ring way to ward off sharks - take a look!

Large eye stickers are being stuck to the bottom of surfboards in order to deter sharks.

'Ramaphosa wants to find ways to force pension fund managers to invest in SOEs'

'Ramaphosa wants to find ways to force pension fund managers to invest in SOEs'

Daily Maverick associate editor at Scorpio Sikonathi Mantshantsha takes a look at the week's financial news.

Lion cub worth R50k rescued from house in Cape Town

Lion cub worth R50k rescued from house in Cape Town

The feline was found by detectives at a property in Athlone on Wednesday following a tip-off.

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir shines once again with latest AGT performance

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir shines once again with latest AGT performance

The inspiring South African choirU2's Beautiful Day at America's Got Talent quarter-finals.

SA’s richest woman opens up about being a refugee and becoming a billionaire

SA’s richest woman opens up about being a refugee and becoming a billionaire

Magda Wierzycka – Sygnia’s renegade CEO – on her attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Mystery solved: Why smelly, blue sewage has been leaking into Cape Town forest

Mystery solved: Why smelly, blue sewage has been leaking into Cape Town forest

The reason for the leakage has been revealed, explains Table Mountain Aerial Cableway MD Wahida Parker.