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Children survivors of Cyclone Idai ask for weather-resistant infrastructures

In a hearing meeting recently held in Nhamatanda, organized by World Vision in coordination with the reference group for Sustainable Development Goals in Mozambique, aiming to produce a report of the National Voluntary Review for the country to present at the United Nations summit, children and adolescents who experienced the devastating cyclone Idai and floods, expressed their desire to see improved homes and schools that are resilient to climate impacts.

At the meeting, the 30 children from various neighborhoods in one of the most devastated districts of Nhamatanda, had the opportunity to share their beliefs, feelings and perspectives about natural disasters and their impact on the community, against the backdrop of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Horácio, 12, is an shy boy who still keeps the March 2019 scene alive in his memory. “On the day of the cyclone, we were forced to leave the house and take refuge on the termite mound. After a while, the water increased and reached the level where we were refugees. Then, we stayed on the road until we were routed to the refugee camp,” he says.

Horácio reported that before being resettled in the Nkura area, he shared the compartment with his parents and other children in a total of 20 people, members of other families.

“In this resettlement center, World Vision opened a school where we played and learned many things. This made us forget what we've experienced,” shared Horácio. He then asked the government for a better and improved house since the one he currently lives in, with his parents and two siblings, is a tent made that the family receivd at the initial phase of the emergency response.

Horácio holding a photo that portrays the day that cyclone Idai hit
Horácio is holding a photo that portrays the day that cyclone Idai hit

 

Joana, 16, expressed her happiness at the time because she was one of the participants in the meeting. “I was worried because many of us children are traumatized by the experience we had with Cyclone Idai. When a child is given the opportunity to speak, he/she gets rid of a lot of pain,” she said.

In turn, Rosa, 14, asked the Mozambican government to build a secondary school that is close to their residential areas and that is not overthrown by the fury of storms.

The social activist and hearing facilitator, Yolanda Mulhui, explained that the idea is based on the global call to leave no one behind. "The main thought is to close the gap between policymakers and the stakeholders because many of these policies are defined without the due involvement of various sectors that benefit from those policies."

Present at the meeting, the National Institute for Disaster Management represented by its focal point, Samuel Chadreque, said that the government will continue to encourage and promote the construction of houses that are resilient to climate change.

The meeting also served to assess the understanding that social class has with regard to natural disasters; their preparedness for natural disasters; protection and safeguarding of children during emergencies, etc.

Note that Mozambique expressed its intention to conduct the National Voluntary Review at the heads of state summit in September 2019 and is expected to present its report (the first) at the United Nations High Level Political Forum in July 2020 with others 47 countries.