Cyclones are not unusual in Mozambique at this time of year. But to be hit with two cyclones in a single month is crippling. With reports of 94,000 hectares in damaged food crops, 26 deaths, and 125,000 people displaced, we know the after-effects will impact the country for months to come.
And yet, there are areas in the country receiving so little rain that their crops are failing as well. This recent email from Francois (missionary in Mozambique) describes the situation well.
You would not believe what is happening this year. Our usual pattern of about 200+ mm of rain for January has turned out to be only about 25mm thus far. A very very dry December and January – especially January. The river is not even flowing which means the catchment areas did not have rain either. Road between Xai-Xai and Maputo has been washed away due to the cyclone but the cyclone turned back into the sea. Quelimane had severe flooding due to the cyclone killing more than 22 people – so the radio here tells us.
So it’s either flooding or drought! [The local area] had NO rain which means most of [the missions staff] and the population here lost their crops. I spoke to Celestino on Friday and he said it HAS to rain Saturday to save 40% of his crop. It didn’t rain …. so now most of the people here lost their crops… Our schools are overcrowded with a record 311 kids eating at the kitchen at this moment. A little pressure currently on the amount of food being used there at the moment! Very strange weather … so hopefully a little bit of rain in February to get our river flowing – otherwise very little water in there. Even the little bit of maize Andy planted is struggling – we have been irrigating it but that too is expensive. So we will keep on praying and trusting.
Many blessings and send over a bucket full of snow!
Withered maize stock
Please join with us in prayer for Mozambique during this time of cyclones and drought, and for the months to come.