A displaced family arrives after being rescued by a boat from a flooded area of Buzi district, 200 kilometers (120 miles) outside Beira, Mozambique. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP
A week after Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique, people in Beira are still clinging to rooftops and trees waiting to be rescued.

It is estimated that more than 1 000 people have perished in Mozambique alone. While thousands have been helped to safety, up to 15 000 could still be waiting to be rescued.

The devastation in Mozambique is considered one of Africa’s greatest catastrophes. Beira, including the airport, is at least 90% destroyed. With communications down it is difficult to ascertain the exact extent of the devastation in outlying areas.

South African teams, including Gift of the Givers, are on the ground assisting local authorities. According to the NGO, more skilled personnel are urgently needed, and emergency assistance is being dubbed a marathon, not a sprint.

The Department of International Relations has given R10million to assist with emergency relief in the flood-affected areas, and Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will be visiting the affected areas in Mozambique on Wednesday.

Caused by Cyclone Idai, the floods have affected 1million people in Malawi and displaced 800000 according to the World Health Organisation.

Gift of the Givers is also providing emergency humanitarian relief to Malawi and is delivering aid to seven out of 11 affected districts.

The Malawian Defence Force has helped Gift of the Givers to access various no-go areas.

The Malawian Interior Security Ministry has said that a major embankment at Chagwa Dam was eroded due to the heavy rains.

The dam is likely to burst if heavy rains continue.

The devastating floods in Zimbabwe, particularly in the rural area of Chimanimani, have already taken the lives of over 140 people.

In Chimanimani and Chipinge districts at least half the population has been impacted.

Access to clean water remains a key challenge.

In Chimanimani, urban areas still have no water due to badly damaged infrastructure. Damage to road infrastructure has cut people off from access to assistance.