Cyclone Kenneth: The international community must step up to help Mozambique in its hour of need

Responding to the news that Mozambique has been hit by another catastrophic storm, Cyclone Kenneth, Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International said:

It is just five weeks since Cyclone Idai, one of the worst weather-related disasters in Southern Africa, hit Mozambique and the country has far from recovered

Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International

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It is just five weeks since Cyclone Idai, one of the worst weather-related disasters in Southern Africa, hit Mozambique and the country has far from recovered. Now its people are experiencing the shock of yet another life-changing storm, one that is expected to bring yet more devastating rainfall, storm surges and flooding.

While Cyclone Kenneth has been downgraded after its winds weakened, it has already claimed three people’s lives in the island nation of Comoros. The government has rightly called for the swift evacuation of people, with about 30 000 of 700 000 people affected already evacuated from high risk areas, but the dangers to people’s lives and other human rights can continue in the aftermath of the storm, with the significantly heightened risk of flooding and disease.

If Kenneth inflicts strong damage, Mozambique will not be able to cope with relief and recovery

Kumi Naidoo

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These two unprecedented storms that have hit Mozambique with otherworldly force are exactly what climate scientists warned would happen if we continue to warm our planet beyond its limits. High intensity natural disasters will become far more prevalent and underscore the need for urgent action to reduce emissions and invest in adaptation measures that will protect people’s lives.

But there is one inescapable and burning injustice we cannot stress enough: the people of Mozambique are paying the price for dangerous climate change when they have done next to nothing to cause this crisis.

All countries in a position to do so, and especially those that that have significantly contributed to global emissions and those who continue to do so, must send more than just thoughts and prayers to Mozambique.

Kumi Naidoo

If Kenneth inflicts strong damage, Mozambique will not be able to cope with relief and recovery. It is unconscionable that the post-Idai recovery fund remains drastically underfunded, with only about $88 million USD received of the $390 million USD needed as of 9 April. Amnesty International is calling on the international community to step up in Mozambique’s hour of need.

All countries in a position to do so, and especially those that that have significantly contributed to global emissions and those who continue to do so, must send more than just thoughts and prayers to Mozambique. They should provide remedy to those whose rights are being savaged by climate change, and this includes through increased funding of climate adaptation and post-disaster relief efforts.

Source: Amnesty International