Aid workers warn on COVID-19 in camps for Mozambique cyclone victims
- Cyclone Eloise destroyed homes, infrastructure and crops in Mozambique.
- Temporary shelters are full of people already displaced by cyclone Idai.
- The conditions at the shelters can facilitate the spreading of COVID-19.
By Emma Rumney
Crowded centres for people left destitute by Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique create the perfect conditions for COVID-19 to spread, with some living at least 10 to a tent with no access to water, soap or masks, an international aid group said on Tuesday.
Cyclone Eloise, which made landfall in Mozambique in the early hours of Saturday, weakened into a tropical storm as it moved inland to Zimbabwe, South Africa, eSwtatini - formerly Swaziland - and Botswana.
Some 93,418 people were already displaced in four provinces affected by Idai, which killed more than 1,000 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, before Eloise struck. In the port city of Beira alone, 8,700 people are living in 16 temporary shelters after their homes were destroyed by the cyclone.
"Each tent I saw had at least 10 people packed into it and families are lacking access to safe water and essential items like soap and face masks," said Marcia Penicela, project manager at ActionAid Mozambique following a visit to sites.
The WFP was now due to start helping the government with supplying food to the accommodation centres.
To provide shelter following #CycloneEloise + Tropical Storm #Chalane, in #Buzi, one of the affected districts, 5 accommodation centres activated by the Gov't of #Mozambique with support from humanitarian partners are hosting over 13,000 displaced #people. https://t.co/D1Zlxc8Efk pic.twitter.com/z2iIxnk56O
— IOM Mozambique (@IOM_Mozambique) February 1, 2021