Cyclone Idai and Kenneth

For the first time in recorded history two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season.


Cyclone Idai and Kenneth cause devastation and suffering in Mozambique

On 14 March, tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall at the port of Beira, Mozambique, before moving across the region. Millions of people in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe have been affected by what is the worst natural disaster to hit southern Africa in at least two decades.

Six weeks later, Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in northern Mozambique – the first time in recorded history two strong tropical cyclones have hit the country in the same season. The devastation caused by the cyclones could bring the cumulative number of children in affected areas in urgent need of humanitarian assistance – in healthcare, nutrition, protection, education, water, and sanitation – to nearly 1.3 million in Mozambique alone. 

Thanks to its public, private and individual donors, UNICEF under the effective leadership of the Government of Mozambique and in close collaboration with civil society organizations were able to conduct a massive disaster response and save the lives of thousands of children. However, further funding for the ongoing recovery work - and increased mitigation measures by polluters, and adaption in developing countries – will be required to protect children from natural disasters in the future.



Cyclone Idai and Kenneth in numbers (August 2019)

  • 2.5 million people in need of humanitarian services
  • 1.3 million children in need of humanitarian services
  • Death toll: 603
  • Injured: 1,641
  • Affected provinces: Zambézia, Sofala, Manica, Tete and Inhambane (50 districts in total)
  • Houses destroyed: 223,947
  • People displaced: 160,927
  • Confirmed cholera cases: 6,768
  • Cholera deaths: 8
  • Crop damage: 715,378 ha
  • Classrooms affected: 3,504
  • Students affected: 335,132
  • Health facilities affected: 93


UNICEF Results (Cyclone Idai and Kenneth - March to December 2019)

  • 812,065 people reached with safe water
  • 124,028 people benefiting from sanitation, hygiene promotion activities, including point-of-use water treatment safe practices
  • 673,614 children under 15 vaccinated (OCV/Measles)
  • 640,978 children under-5 screened for acute malnutrition
  • 103,932 children accessing quality education
  • 31,541 children receiving psychosocial support through safe spaces
  • 1,525,376 people reached with key life saving and behavior change messages
  • 363,934 people with access to appropriate sanitation facilities and receiving hygiene messages
  • 8,346 pregnant women 15-49 living with HIV receiving ART
  • 456,726 children 6-59 months receiving routine Vitamin A supplementation
UNICEF/MOZA2019-0470/Wikus De Wet

Nearly 1.3 million children are at risk in Mozambique after two devastating cyclones. 

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