News Release

Beira, Mozambique is Recovering from Cyclone Idai with Help from Church Humanitarian and Others

The Faith and Efforts of People in Beira are aided by Church Humanitarian and others, as they recover from devastation caused by Cyclone Idai

The night of Thursday, March 14, 2019 dramatically changed the lives of people in central Mozambique, parts of Malawi and parts of Zimbabwe. Cyclone Idai made landfall in Beira, Mozambique about 10:00 pm. With it came 190 kph (120mph) winds, driving rain, flooding and destruction. Over ninety percent of the structures in Beira were damaged or destroyed. Electricity, water, telephone, communication services and basic sanitation services were gone and unable to be restored for almost a week. In a matter of a few hours, many people lost everything. Homes were gone, food and clothing gone and for some, family members gone.



Arriving on the first plane to land in Beira following the Cyclone, Phillip Moatlhodi, Area Welfare manager for the Africa Southeast Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said he had never seen so much destruction. “Destruction was everywhere, twenty-year old Mango trees were uprooted,  I thought I would never see that much destruction. I wondered, how did so many people survive so much destruction?” As his assessment tour of Beira began Phillip said, “Almost everyone lost everything. All they had was the clothes on their backs, but the people did not buckle under the disaster. I saw no looting. The people were helping each other…they are resilient.”


Church Humanitarian relief efforts began even before the Cyclone made landfall. Church funds were donated to ADRA (Adventists Relief Agency), who purchased supplies prior to the storm’s landfall to make certain basic life sustaining necessities were available immediately following the storm. In addition to Church Humanitarian’s own efforts, partnerships were also arranged with Unicef, Save the Children, World Food Program, Care for Life and No Poor Among Us, to provide food and water purifiers as quickly as possible and to repair and rebuild homes, schools and a community center in Beira and other affected areas.

Quickly recognizing the need to provide clean water to help avoid the spread of cholera, water purifiers were distributed. Food and other life essentials were also distributed. Once the basic needs of survival were addressed, relief efforts were directed to repairing and rebuilding homes, schools and a civic center.


The repair and reconstruction of homes blessed the lives of members of the Church as well as non-members. In partnership with Care for Life and No Poor Among Us, the Church Humanitarian Department contributed funds which provided metal roofing sheets for residents to use to replace roofs blown away by the Cyclone. The Church also provided resources to build one bedroom and two- bedroom homes. The size of the home is determined by the number of family members in the family needing the home. Homes are constructed in a similar style to the typical homes in the neighborhood in which the home was located. People receiving the homes direct where they want windows and doors placed in the home and direct how they want their home oriented on the lot. Over one thousand people are receiving new homes.

The Chipangara Community Center was severely damaged by Cyclone Idai. The Center represents a significant benefit to the Community. Representatives of Firme Alicerce were willing to provide the labor to rebuild the Center. Church Humanitarian reviewed the needs and partnered with Firme Alicerce by providing funding for materials to rebuild the Center.

Five schools in the area have also been repaired by Church Humanitarian. Four schools have been helped solely by the Church and one school is being repaired in partnership with Care for Life.


Through the help of Church Humanitarian both directly and in partnership with others, the lives of over two hundred thirty-four thousand people have received relief from the terrible destruction of Cyclone Idai.

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