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Gift of the Givers move to inland areas of Mozambique to help cyclone victims

Some areas have not yet received aid because supplies were sent to locations where thousands of families were stationed in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone.

A village just outside Beira which has been flooded when cyclone Idai hit Mozambique is seen from the sky. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

BEIRA - Rescue teams from South African NGO the Gift of the Givers have moved from the Beira Airport to inland areas of Mozambique to take relief aid to smaller communities that have been left stranded without fresh water and food for more than a week.

GALLERY: From the sky: The anguish caused by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique

Some areas have not yet received aid because supplies were sent to locations where thousands of families were stationed in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone.

The Gift of the Givers has set up a mobile rescue operations unit in Estaquinha, just over 100 kilometres west of Beira, to make sure food, water and medical supplies are taken to areas up and down the Búzi River which burst its banks during the flood.

The relief efforts are supported by independent teams from Zimbabwe.

A trailer filled with first aid kits and a state-of-the-art communications GPS system has been set up in front of the team’s camping area.

Gift of the Givers’ Grant Tyson said: “We’ve got 11 vehicles. We’ve pulled in a huge big trailer called our mobile command post. From there we can run our operations with activities to the air to monitor where our vehicles are.”

The camp is situated about a kilometre away from the Búzi River.

WATCH: Cyclone Idai: A call for help

Cyclone Idai lashed Beira with winds of up to 170 kilometres earlier this month then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi, flattening buildings and killing at least 657 people across the three countries.

A green four-man tent with an extension filled with medical supplies has been stationed approximately 50 metres from a football field where helicopters have been landing.

An elderly woman arrived just before sunset on Sunday with a broken arm which needed surgery. She had to leave with a brace from the first aid kit. With no tarred roads or hospitals nearby, it may be a long while until she receives the help she really needs.

With the death toll from Cyclone Idai passing 750 human, organisations in Mozambique are continuing rescue and relief operations further inland where smaller communities are stranded.

People can be seen from above using makeshift boats to row across the brown flood water that’s not yet receded.
Elsewhere, many trees have been uprooted.

The smell of damp, rotting vegetation over harvesting areas is one more sensory signal of how the flooding has impacted people’s lives.

With most relief efforts going out to areas where large groups of people are gathered, residents don’t know when they can start rebuilding their lives.

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