RESIDENTS of Chiluvi, Mozambique, walk along a flooded street after cyclone Idai hit the region last week. EPA-EFE African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN - International Relations and Co- operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has made an urgent appeal to South Africans to make donations for flood relief in neighbouring countries affected by tropical cyclone Idai.

Sisulu called on South African NGOs, companies and individuals to make donations towards humanitarian aid for the people of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe who were affected by the cyclone, which has claimed more than 150 lives and caused widespread damage.

“We have directed all our embassies and diplomats to continue to work with the three countries to assess the damage,” said Sisulu.

On behalf of the people of South Africa, Sisulu sent a message of condolences and wished those in hospital a speedy recovery.

The death toll from the impact of the cyclone is currently estimated at 150, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The cyclone, which hit the Mozambican city of Beira, left an estimated 90% of the area damaged, the IFRC said yesterday, citing an initial assessment by a team of its aid workers.

“The situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous. It seems that 90% of the area is completely destroyed,” said Jamie LeSueur, who is leading the IFRC assessment team into Beira.

“Communication lines have been completely cut and roads have been destroyed. Some affected communities are not accessible.”

He added that although Beira had been severely battered the situation outside the city could be even worse.

“On Sunday, a large dam burst and cut off the last road to the city,” said LeSueur.

Gift of the Givers was ready to offer assistance yesterday.

The Department of International Relations and Co-operation has urged any South Africans affected by the floods to contact the embassies or call the 24-hour call centre on 012 351 1000.

Those able to assist are requested to contact the following officials: Matheko Rametsi on +27 81 037 2765 or email [email protected] as well as Surprise Malehase on +27 83 700 7946 or email [email protected]

THE MERCURY