Recovery Collection: Cyclones Idai and Kenneth 2019
Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira City, Mozambique on 14 March 2019, bringing strong winds and severe flooding in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar. Cyclone Idai killed approximately 1303 and affected more than three million people. Cyclone Idai was followed one month later by Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, which made landfall in Mozambique as the strongest cyclone to ever hit the African continent.
Recovery needs in the wake of the damage caused by consecutive cyclones continue to be significant. Post-disaster needs assessments following Cyclones Idai and Kenneth and the ensuing floods estimate total recovery needs for Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi at $3.2 billion USD, $767 million USD and $370.5 million USD, respectively. The government of Mozambique stood up a new agency, Gabinete de Reconstrução Pós-Idai and Kenneth (GREPOC), to oversee recovery efforts.
In Mozambique alone, more than 240,000 homes were partially or completely destroyed. Early in the recovery phase, GREPOC completed research to build back stronger, cyclone-resistant homes to guide reconstruction efforts, but for many, access, affordability and know-how remain a challenge for resilient reconstruction. For others, the governments are exploring resettlement to locations safe from landslides and flooding, but these efforts can be complicated by resettlement areas requiring infrastructure, and lacking connectivity with a community’s livelihoods, families, culture and other needs. Damage caused by the cyclones and floods to the agriculture sector exacerbated food insecurity in the immediate term, and presented significant recovery needs for restoring livelihoods. The cyclones and floods caused significant damage to core infrastructure. In Mozambique the PDNA estimates that nearly 30 percent of the national road network was damaged and 20 bridges were damaged or destroyed. Electricity, water, hospitals, schools and telecommunications core infrastructure also suffered significant damage.