Relief organisations in Beira warn of high risk of water-born diseases

Many areas outside of the city are still submerged after the Zambezi River burst its banks due to the devastation caused by tropical Cyclone Idai.

Displaced Mozambicans arrive at a warehouse for aid after Cyclone Idai hit the area, in Beira, Mozambique, on 20 March 2019. Picture: AFP

BEIRA/JOHANNESBURG - With flood waters slowly receding, relief organisations say there have been no confirmed cases of water-borne diseases in Beira despite the initial scares.

Many areas outside of the city are still submerged after the Zambezi River burst its banks due to the devastation caused by tropical Cyclone Idai.

The storm is said to have battered of 90% of the Port City of Beira flooding roads, uprooting trees and completely destroying vital infrastructure.

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Relief organisations said there’s a high risk of water-borne diseases given the huge amounts of flood water.

The United Nations’ Sebastian Rhodes Stampa said: “In an emergency like this, water-borne diseases, are most likely to rapidly outbreak. We do not have confirmed cases yet but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.”

Stampa said if there are cases of any diseases, organisations along with government will do their best to contain the spread.

SOUTH AFRICANS CALLED TO ASSIST

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) has called on South Africans to stretch out a helping hand to neighbouring countries in the aftermath of the tropical cyclone.

The party said it has been in contact with former liberation movements in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi which have been ravaged by the devastating storm.

ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete said: “Where possible, we call on all South Africans to donate anything that they can to our neighbours in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe for assistance.”

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has also commended the government’s disaster relief efforts.

Ahmed Bham from the Gift of the Givers said South Africans who would like to assist with supplies can help with financial aid so supplies can be bought in Mozambique.

“There is food in Mozambique. We know that in a day or two when camps are set up, you will know your aid is going to the right people.”

On Saturday, the Land and Environment Ministry announced that the death toll caused by the tropical cyclone stands at 417.

Minister Celso Correia said that while conditions have improved, the situation remains critical.