Hunger stalks Mozambique after deadly cyclone destroys farmland
World Food Programme has delivered food aid to about 200,000 people and aims to reach a million in the next two weeks, but farmers also need seeds to replant quickly
Nhampuepua, Mozambique — Fulai Joaquim has enough food to feed his 10 children for another week, maybe two. Then, he says, it is in the hands of God. A cyclone ripped his cassava crop from the ground, leaving the roots to rot in the field, and the floods that followed washed away his maize. “There have been a lot of tears,” said Joaquim, 45, as he trudged past the small plots of land that hug the mud-and-stick homes of Nhampuepua, also destroyed by the storm. “Everyone is hungry.” Hundreds of rural communities were plunged into food crisis after Cyclone Idai tore through central Mozambique on March 14, humanitarian workers say. The government estimates that more than 700,000ha of agricultural land was flooded, leaving many farmers with nothing to harvest. From the air, the kilometres of flattened crops look like thinning, slicked-back hair.
More than 750 people died in the storm and heavy rains before it hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Two weeks later, as search and rescu...