On 9 February, 2000, tragedy struck when the heavens opened up and unusually heavy rain fell across Southern Africa. The area worst affected was Mozambique. Homes and crops were destroyed and roads and footpaths were covered with several feet of water leaving thousands of families stranded because land transport could not reach those in need. Electricity supplies were cut off, towns were left without food and clean water which lead to the outbreak of disease, such as cholera, and many fatalities. Animals were swept away in the water and people were forced to climb on to roofs and to the top of trees in order to escape from drowning.
What Happened Next?
Great efforts were made by the military to airlift foreign tourists to safety, and in the capital Maputo thousands of people were forced to leave their homes. This was the worst flooding Mozmabique had seen in the last 50 years, and it continued to rain heavily for a further three weeks.
When everybody began to think that the situation could not get any worse another disaster occurred. The banks of the Limpopo River burst creating severe flooding. This was followed by a tropical cyclone named Eline. The coast of Mozambique was hit at full force by 160mph winds leaving an already devastated country in an even worse state.
How Did Everyone Help?
In an attempt to provide their people with aid, African governments pleaded for other countries to assist them. In reply, the UK set up a campaign on Thursday 2 March to raise money. On 5 March the money raised topped £8 million, and by the end of the month, reached a massive £14 million which was used to transport food and medical supplies along with aid workers to those in need by helicopter.
The homeland of many families was destroyed before their eyes by a factor beyond the control of anybody. Nature. Years will have to be spent rebuilding homes, food sources and businesses. However, there are some things that can never be replaced, such as people. Those who died as a result of this tragedy will be remembered always.