Two major emergency response units are being deployed by the Red Cross to Beira in Mozambique as the world’s largest humanitarian network continues to scale up its response to Cyclone Idai.
The first will provide basic sanitation facilities for up to 20,000 people. The second will produce up to 225,000 litres of clean water per day – enough for 15,000 people. The humanitarian experts accompanying the units will arrive in the coming days, with the equipment to arrive in Beira early next week.
Pat Carey, Chairman of the Irish Red Cross said: “The structure and scale of the Red Cross network globally means Red Cross volunteers can attend to the scene of a disaster very, very quickly. Red Cross volunteers have already distributed emergency shelter kits to 1,500 families and Red Cross assistance to the people of Mozambique will be amplified upon the arrival of the emergency response units.
“Access to clean water and sanitation is crucial in the aftermath of a disaster like this and these units will help meet some basic needs. The units will also help mitigate against the very real threat of outbreaks of waterborne diseases like hepatitis and cholera which are typical in the aftermath of this kind of incident.”
A third emergency response unit, designed to manage the complex logistics involved in an operation of this scale, is also being deployed.
In addition to water and sanitation, the Red Cross is also aiming to address the massive shelter needs caused by the tropical cyclone and the floods. According to the government, at least 400,000 people have been displaced. Red Cross volunteers have already distributed emergency shelter kits – made up tarpaulins and basic tools – to about 1,500 families. These kits were part of a consignment that the Red Cross managed to deploy to Beira ahead of the flooding.
Today (22 March), an additional consignment of emergency shelter kits for 3,000 families will arrive at the Beira port.
“Many people have been waiting for days for rescue and for support," said Pat Carey. "It’s encouraging that the humanitarian response is really starting to come to scale. But more help is needed, and we are continuing to do all we can to bring in more resources and to reach more people.
If you would like to help the Red Cross effort in Mozambique you can donate by calling 1850 50 70 70 or by CLICKING www.redcross.ie
The Red Cross is appealing for 9 million euro to help 75,000 people. The Red Cross will focus on reaching those worst affected by the crisis. In addition to water and sanitation and shelter, the Red Cross is also focusing on responding to health needs and ensuring that cyclone survivors are safe from harm during the coming recovery.