10 April 2019

British Red Cross Ambassador Ben Fogle visits aftermath of Cyclone Idai

For further information: press@redcross.org.uk or 0207 877 7557
Out of hours, 07710 391703    
Photos: Available on request

British Red Cross Ambassador Ben Fogle, who is filming in the region, has visited families in Mozambique to hear first-hand the devastating impact of Cyclone Idai and to help the Red Cross reinforce the urgent need for more support. 

Cyclone Idai left a trail of destruction across areas of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last month, killing hundreds of people and affecting an estimated 3 million people across the three countries. The full impact of the disaster is still unfolding, and cases of cholera continue to rise as aid agencies work hard to help manage the outbreak.

In Mozambique, the Red Cross is supporting over 200,000 people by providing emergency aid, shelter supplies, clean sanitation and safe water. The British Red Cross has sent a team of aid workers with equipment to provide safe toilets and washing facilities for 20,000 people. 

Whilst filming in the region, broadcaster Ben Fogle visited a Red Cross clinic in a deprived area of Beira, to speak to some of the staff and some of the survivors being treated following the disaster. The clinic has been set up to replace the local hospital which had been damaged in the storms.

Ben also joined an aid convoy to Njalane, a small fishing village that until today was largely cut off due to the road being blocked by trees and broken branches that had been uprooted in the cyclone. He helped local volunteers from the Mozambique Red Cross to distribute tool kits, tarpaulins, buckets, soap, towels and mosquito nets. 

Ben said: “The sheer scale of this crisis is simply extraordinary. Thousands of people have seen family members lost in the floods, and their homes and livelihoods washed away. It’s clear from speaking with some of the survivors today that many are still coming to terms with what’s happened and the enormity of what lies ahead. Their resilience in the face of such adversity is astonishing.

“The storms of Cyclone Idai have wreaked havoc across this region, and it’s going to be a long and difficult road to rebuilding what’s been lost. The need for support is urgent and I would urge everyone to give what they can to help.”

The British Red Cross has raised more than £1.1m for the survivors of Cyclone Idai in south-eastern Africa. However more support is urgently needed to help communities recover and rebuild following the storms.

Ben Webster, Head of Emergencies at the British Red Cross, said: “While the flood waters are receding, the effects of this crisis will continue to be felt for a long time to come as hundreds of thousands of people begin to rebuild their lives after the disaster. 

“With so many people rendered homeless, our greatest concern now is preventing further spread of cholera, mitigating the threat of food insecurity in the region, and giving people the support they need to recover.” 
By post: Cyclone Idai Appeal, British Red Cross, Cyclone Idai Appeal, 44 Moorfields, London, EC2Y 9AL

By phone: 0300 023 0811

Response from the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement

Numbers receiving aid In Mozambique, Red Cross is supporting over 200,000 people.    
BRC relief items: 3,000 mosquito nets and blankets, 2,000 tarps have gone to Zimbabwe Red Cross. 
13,500 blankets, sleeping mats and 3,000 kitchen sets have gone to Mozambique    
BRC support: The British Red Cross has a mass sanitation team in Mozambique, able to provide basic sanitation for 20,000 per day.    
Wider Red Cross support: The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has a water emergency response unit capable of providing clean water to 15,000 people.
A Red Cross field hospital has been set up, able to help 150,000.    
Reuniting Families:  A dedicated website in English and Portuguese has been launched to help people find their relatives. The Restoring Family Links website allows people to report that they are alive or that a loved one is missing. More than 300 people, mostly from Mozambique and Zimbabwe, are currently registered on the site as missing. However, this number is likely to rise significantly once services are restored to the many communities without power and internet access.  


About the British Red Cross

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.