This aerial photograph shows the damaged communities in Macomia district, Mozambique, on April 27, 2019 following the destruction by Cyclone Kenneth. AFP

Cyclone Kenneth left a trail of destruction in its path as it made landfall in north-eastern Mozambique last month. The damage is extensive, and in the aftermath thousands of people have lost their homes, their belongings and their livelihoods.

Cyclone Kenneth was one of the strongest storms recorded in mainland Africa. Although the area it hit was less populated than other parts of Mozambique, the damage and flooding along its path has been extensive.

At least 38 people have been reported dead and over 160,000 others have been directly affected.

In Nacate, a village in the district of Macomia, which was among the worst hit most of the houses collapsed, people lost livestock and the produce on their farms was washed away.

“On Cyclone Kenneth, the World Health Organization (WHO) tells us today that nearly 190,000 people are in need of health assistance or are at risk of diseases in Mozambique. Kenneth was the second category 3 cyclone to hit the country within five weeks. Due to the lack of accessibility, the full extent of the damage to the health system is not known. At least 17 health facilities have been damaged but this number is expected to rise,” Stéphane Dujarric, a U.N. spokesperson told reporters in New York.

Kenneth struck while Mozambique was still struggling to deal with the impact of Cyclone Idai, which hammered the country’s central region just six weeks earlier, flattening the port city of Beira and killing more than 1,000 people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Officials declared a cholera outbreak in northern Mozambique on Thursday (May 02), a week after cyclone winds, floods and heavy rains hit the area.

“WHO is working with the Ministry of Health to carry out evaluations, and they’re also working with UNICEF and have sent tents, water purification units and other supplies. A WHO team of specialists, originally deployed to Beira following Cyclone Idai, have now been redeployed to follow Cyclone Kenneth. WHO stressed the need for rapid action to manage the risk of cholera,” said Dujarric.

This is the first time on record that two powerful storms had hit the southern African country in such a short space of time wrecking homes, flattening villages and destroying crops.

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