Rebuilding lives after cyclone Idai

Cyclone Idai devastated the Southern Hemisphere in 2019. The storm left tens of thousands displaced or worse, and destroyed the livelihoods of 58,000 smallholder farmers in Mozambique alone. On Idai’s first anniversary, Solidaridad is handing out special packs of seeds and livestock to smallholders to help rebuild their lives.

Meet a young farmer whose family lost the roof over their heads because of Cyclone Idai 

When Cyclone Idai struck

The effects of climate change have been a vivid reality for most people across the globe, with floods, tidal waves, severe droughts, storms and more being experienced across the globe. On 14 March 2019, Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai hit the Southern Hemisphere. It mainly impacted three countries: Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. 

Mozambique was most affected of all. Large parts of the country experienced devastating losses, leaving over 141,000 people displaced, injured or dead. When the cyclone tapered off after two weeks, thousands were still missing. At least 85,000 hectares of agricultural land was flooded, affecting 58,000 smallholder farmers.

Most farmers in Buzi, Mozambique, lost everything and were in need of temporary ID cards. Here, people wait at one of the registration points

Shattered communities

Farming is the most important economic activity in these areas, and the cyclone shattered the economic balance of thousands of communities. Most of the initial aid was coordinated by UNDP, with teams setting up clusters to provide emergency support in line with the immediate humanitarian crisis, from emergency food supplies to new ID cards.

A woman with her new temporary ID card

Medium- and long-term support 

Many smallholders have found it hard to pick up their work and rebuild their lives. Now Solidaridad, a member of the food security cluster led by the UN’s World Food Programme, has designed a medium-term intervention to give additional support. With the help of donations by the Dutch public, Solidaridad was able to raise 60,000 euros. 

The money is being used to stimulate the recovery of livelihoods for 200 families in Mozambique’s Buzi district. This March 2020, exactly a year after Idai struck, these families are being given specially designed SAI (Solidarity After Idai) packs. Each pack includes essential seeds and small livestock (two goats and chickens). 

The SAI intervention is a base for future resilience programmes to provide long-term support to vulnerable communities in Buzi.

>Read more about Solidaridad's work in Southern Africa