Damaged buildings are seen after Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in Pemba, Mozambique. Picture: Neidi de Car valho/UNICEF via AP

Durban - Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland on Friday expressed sadness at the devastation caused by Cyclone Kenneth and made a call for climate action. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique, the strongest cyclone yet to have hit the country," said Scotland.

She said that Cyclone Kenneth occurring so soon after last month's Cyclone Idai signalled a troubling increase in the frequency of such natural disasters. There was an "urgent and fundamental need to build resilience at all levels in our communities", she said.

“The Commonwealth stands ready to support the Government and people of Mozambique in any way it can, as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods. I would like to commend all those institutions, both public and private and all the countries within our Commonwealth family and beyond who have rallied to Mozambique’s support after Cyclone Idai and urge them to redouble their efforts in the face of the devastation caused by Cyclone Kenneth.

“We must remain vigilant and continue to work together with ever increasing determination and vigour in order to respond to the existential threat which we now face as a result of the rapidly changing climate. We have already started our holistic regenerative programme of work under our Common Earth and Blue Charter banners but we will do more. Together we must wake up to these developments and mobilise to address the reality of climate change," said Scotland. 

The Commonwealth would continue to support member countries to develop robust policies and help them gain access to funding to address climate-related disasters through the Disaster Risk Finance Portal and the Climate Finance Access Hub, she said. 

African News Agency (ANA)