Cyclone Idai made landfall in Beira, Mozambique in mid-March, yet its impact is far from over. This category two storm left severe destruction in Beira and the surrounding region before moving on to Zimbabwe and Malawi. Currently, the United Nations (UN) estimates that Idai has contributed to approximately 700 deaths with numbers expected to rise as recovery efforts continue. Further, the damage and flooding caused by the storm has affected 3 million people, 2/3 of which are in Mozambique. Entire villages have been decimated and the UN reports that at least 1.8 million people need humanitarian assistance in Mozambique alone.
Displacement, infrastructure damage and flooding such as this pose serious consequences to human health due to poor water quality. Specifically, storm surges and extensive flooding spread disease-causing microorganisms and bacteria to contaminate existing water infrastructure. This leads to a high incidence of diarrheal and other water borne diseases, which can be exacerbated by communities living in close-quarters in temporary shelters. The UN has reported that cases of water-borne illness are already being reported in Mozambique, and aid organizations are mobilizing to prevent an outbreak.
LifeStraw is part of this coordinated emergency aid response. Our products, specifically the LifeStraw Community, LifeStraw Family and LifeStraw Mission, are particularly suited for such settings. The LifeStraw Community is a durable, high capacity purifier that can serve 100 people for 3-5 years or 26,000 gallons and has undergone rigorous independent testing with the World Health Organization (WHO), using NSF and ASTM protocols. Supported by the same independent testing, the LifeStraw Family and LifeStraw Mission are great technologies for household water purification, as they each serve 3-5 people or 4,755 gallons.
We are committed to providing our lifesaving products to those who need them most – especially to communities impacted by natural disasters, such as Cyclone Idai. Currently, we are coordinating an effort with several partners to arrange the deployment of our products on the ground.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
If you’re interested in learning more about our emergency and humanitarian work, check out our Safe Water Fund where we’re currently raising funds to support our response to Cyclone Idai. Stay tuned for more updates about our response.