Cyclone Kenneth wreaks havoc in Mozambique

East Africa, Emergencies, Media Releases, News article written on the 26 Apr 2019

Oxfam and its partner organisations are preparing to support relief efforts to help communities in Mozambique after powerful Cyclone Kenneth made landfall today.

Just over a month after the country was hit by deadly Cyclone Idai, a storm that killed about 1000 people and affected an estimated two million people across south-eastern Africa, communities in Mozambique have again faced huge storm surges and heavy rains with Cyclone Kenneth hammering into the northern provinces of the country overnight.

Communities in Cabo Delgado and Niassa are expected to be among the worst hit by the category 3 storm, which brought with it wind speeds of up to 200km/h and torrential rain.

Oxfam Australia’s humanitarian programs spokeswoman Jennifer Worthington said Oxfam and its partners were coordinating with Mozambique authorities, partners in the affected areas and other humanitarian agencies in assessing the needs of people in the cyclone’s path.

“Just over a month after Cyclone Idai devastated communities in other parts of the country, Mozambique is reeling from the impacts of another destructive cyclone – and this one with the potential to be even more deadly, with reports it is one of the strongest storms to ever hit Mozambique,” she said.

Ms Worthington said Oxfam’s humanitarian work in Mozambique had been ongoing since of Cyclone Idai last month, and teams were ready to mobilise emergency assistance with humanitarian partners on the ground in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth, where required.

“Authorities expect the number of people affected by the cyclone will increase, and so an assessment team is going out to communities gather information about what has happened and what we can do,” she said.  “We know communities will need food and access to clean water, emergency shelter, and water and sanitation services.

“While Cyclone Kenneth has not impacted the same area as Cyclone Idai, another large-scale disaster in the country is a massive blow to Mozambique at a time when we are barely scratching the surface of the full extent of this extreme weather on people’s lives.

“We are still discovering communities that have not received help since Cyclone Idai hit, and the fallout from the second cyclone could hamper our aid efforts in other parts of the country.”

Oxfam and its partners have so far reached more than 96,000 people in Mozambique in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. The immediate priority has been to scale-up the water and sanitation response in cholera hotspots to prevent and contain waterborne diseases.

Donations to help Oxfam respond to the deadly cyclones in southern Africa can be made online.

Interviews with spokespersons in Mozambique will be available later today.  Please contact Renee Thompson on 0418 873 782 or