Climate catastrophe in suffering Mozambique

A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, as the full scale of devastation from Cyclone Idai becomes clear. The World Meteorological Organization says Idai, which made landfall March 14, could become the worst tropical cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere. Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi fears that 1,000 people may have lost their lives in his country alone. The UN World Food Program calls the aftermath of the storm "a major humanitarian emergency that is getting bigger by the hour." And, as after similar "mega-storms" of recent years, the link to global climate destabilization is evident. "Cyclone Idai is a clear demonstration of the exposure and vulnerability of many low-lying cities and towns to sea-level rise as the impact of climate change continues to influence and disrupt normal weather patterns," said Mami Mizutori, the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction. (Grist)

Severe drought in recent years had already been exacerbating social conflcit in Mozambique. Amnesty International last June called on Mozambican authorities to take immediate steps to end a "killing spree" in Cabo Delgado province in the northeast. Amnesty said that over the past weeks, scores had been killed by a group known as al-Shabab, although apparently unrelated to the Somalian armed group of the same name. The group's ideology was said to be "unknown," pointing to a likely agrarian conflict pitting peasants against each other. (Jurist, Africa Times, UNDP)

Photo: WikiMedia via Jurist