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People have underestimated the cyclone

Jorge Lampião was just on the way to Switzerland, as a week ago, the tropical storm Idai, and in its Wake severe Flooding recorded his homeland of Mozambique. In the now-ravaged city of Beira to the airport, except in was, all the flights were cancelled, the communications systems collapsed. Only two days later, Lampião was to fly to Zurich to a meeting of Solidar Suisse. For this organization he's been in 19 years. Lampião is the country coordinator of Solidar Suisse in Mozambique.

"I have never experienced such a force of Nature," says Lampião in a telephone conversation. In Mozambique, there are always cyclones and Floods. "Such destruction I've seen but never been," says Lampião, who returned after two days in Zurich back in his homeland.

the Survivors on the roofs of Houses and tree crowns

The people in Mozambique had been warned by the authorities three, four days before the Arrival of the cyclone, says Lampião. "The people knew that a strong cyclone is to come. But they could not imagine, apparently, on what this actually means." The authorities recommended, whether you stayed home and had closed the doors and Windows. "The storm was so strong that this provision for a lot of people were not of a sufficient protection," says Lampião. And further: "people have underestimated the cyclone."

The balance of the natural disaster that hit in addition to Mozambique, also Zimbabwe and Malawi, a week later, only estimate it. Alone in Mozambique, the number of dead has risen to 242, as the government authorities, on Friday at noon. In addition, 15’000 people, urgently need to be saved sitting around. "Thousands of people still waiting on the roofs of Houses and in tree crowns," says Lampião. A minimum of 400’000 people were in need of humanitarian assistance.

"I have never experienced such a force of Nature": Jorge Lampião, country coordinator of Solidar Suisse in Mozambique.

The storm has left in South-East Africa terrible devastation. Photos from the disaster area show, for example, swept away houses, spilled bridges, collapsed roads and. In Mozambique, around 3000 square kilometres of Land are under water. This is an area that is larger than the Canton of Ticino. Many of the Survivors are exposed to life-threatening situations. So drink in their time of Need contaminated water. It is only a matter of days before diseases break out, because the sanitary infrastructures have been completely destroyed.

International help is urgently needed

"The face of this disaster we can create, but without international assistance it is not," says Lampião, whose home is one of the poorest countries in the world. Substantial assistance for Mozambique, also comes from Switzerland. Overall, the Humanitarian aid of the Swiss Agency for development and cooperation (SDC) provides two million Swiss francs for the management of the Emergency. On-site water experts, logisticians, and other experts of SDC. Also the Swiss Humanitarian aid unit (SHA) has sent a relief team in the disaster areas.

the help of private organisations in Switzerland. So, for example, Solidar Suisse, which provided for immediate relief measures 100’000 Swiss francs and donations for Mozambique collects. Solidar Suisse is already engaged since many years in development cooperation in Mozambique. "We are supported in the population and have very good relations to the local authorities," says the Programme Manager for Mozambique, Joachim Merz. "The measures are a decisive advantage for fast and effective implementation of the Emergency relief." (Editorial Tamedia)

Created: 22.03.2019, 17:14 PM

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