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Cyclone Idai Information

UPDATE:
Our team continues to work with local and national government and other international NGO’s  to provide relief for cyclone victims. Park Staff are working hard to provide emergency relief to the surrounding communities, and ensure that normal life returns to peoples lives as soon as possible. We have now delivered over 5 400 food kits by air, totalling approximately 80 tons of food to more than 27 000 beneficiaries. Thank you for your donations that are helping provide these supplies. The Park will re-open May 1st for tourism. For more info on visiting the park, contact [email protected] We still anticipate selling Gorongosa coffee later this year.
 
Instead of using our secure Paypal donation system, donors may wish to deposit directly to the following account in Mozambique. Please use the reference "Idai Relief" when sending funds this way. 
 
Standard Bank Mozambique
 
Account No  2013405801002 
Account name GREGORY C CARR FOUNDATION
NIB 000302010340580100214
IBAN MZ59000302010340580100214
SWIFT SBICMZMX
 
How has Cyclone Idai affected Mozambique?
A category 4 tropical cyclone (Idai) made landfall on 14 March in the district of Dondo, Sofala province. The port city of Beira has been severely damaged leaving the population isolated without electricity and communications.
 
Before the storm hit, parts of the central region of the country had already been affected by heavy flooding, including Tete, Zambezia, Sofala, where Gorongosa National Park is located, and Niassa provinces.
 
What’s the latest news on the situation in Mozambique and Beira?
 
Recently, the President of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi flew over and visited some of the affected areas and witnessed some of the devastation caused by the cyclone and heavy rains.
 
Images and reports from the people on the ground indicate extensive floods, causing fatalities and displacements and significantly damaging transport infrastructure.
 
According to the Red Cross, 90% of Beira, which has 500,000 inhabitants, has been damaged or destroyed.
 
Communications with colleagues in Beira remained very limited today. The Government of Mozambique, along with partners and donors are working to reconnect the city of Beira.
 
“I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed,” Celso Correia, the environment minister, said. “Our priority now is to save human lives.”
 
Forecasts indicate that flash and fluvial flooding, within major river systems such as the Zambezi, Pungwe, Revue and Save may occur.
 
Unfortunately, according to the weather forecast there is still more rain on its way which will further put people at risk and which will hamper the recovery efforts.
 
What is being done? What will happen over the next few days?
 
Gorongosa National Park will be working closely with Government of Mozambique and The Ministry of  the Environment to help local communities in the afflicted provinces.
 
Emergency food assistance and rescue operations will be supported by the Government of Mozambique, by NGO’s and by the Gorongosa Project.
 
Many of our partners are also working  to support humanitarian aid and disaster relief, including Irish Aid, World Food Program, Global Environment Facility, the United Nations, and others.
 
How is everyone in Gorongosa Park?
The Park has been right in the middle of cyclone Idai which hit central Mozambique. While some roads are still under construction, we are working hard to re-open the Park and resume normal life as soon as possible. 
 
When will Gorongosa Park return to normal? 
Sometime in April the Park will again be open to scientists, technicians and aid workers.  Regular Tourism is expected to begin again May 1st. We still anticipate selling coffee later this year.
 
How can I help people affected by Cyclone Idai?
 
We have set up a Cyclone Relief Fund - in addition, the UN has a fund to which you can donate, and you can continue to check in here, where we will update with accurate news  as we receive it.
 
What is the Cyclone Relief Fund for?
We are aiming to immediately raise USD 400,000 for urgent needs. We will engage further with donors and individuals for the longer-term reconstruction efforts.
The Gorongosa National Park Cyclone Relief Fund will be primarily for the following:
 
 - Purchase and distribute food and chlorine tablets to at least 300 families who are associated with Gorongosa National Park in the Vinho community near Chitengo, directly affected by the severe flooding.
 - Facilitate materials for makeshift shelters for these families.  
 - Support the large national and international emergency response through manpower for food distribution throughout the Buffer Zone, including an initial situation assessment.
 - Try to track our staff and their families in Beria and support them through access to food, safe water, advance salaries and loans to rebuild their livelihoods.  
 - Help the park to reopen access routes to the park and to nearby communities.
 - Support the reopening of Gorongosa National Parks’s Beira office to become functional again.  
 
How does the fund work?
The Gorongosa National Park Cyclone Relief Fund is linked to our parent organisation in the USA. The funds will be collected and transferred into our Mozambican operational account. We assure you that your contribution will be directly used for emergency relief work on the ground. Our normal operations are fully funded and we do not need to raise salaries and other overheads.
 
Thank you all for your thoughts, for your prayers, and for your patience as we work to return to normal.