No javascript detected! Our online shopping basket requires javascript. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER

Citizens Without Borders

Heifer rallies aid for victims of Cyclone Idai

By Heifer International April 10, 2019

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 –

Satellite image of Cyclone Idai bearing down on south eastern Africa.
Cyclone Idai bearing down on south eastern Africa in March, 2019.

Cyclones and hurricanes are the same thing, they're just called different names depending on where in the world they occur.

Cyclone Idai crashed into Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in late March with heavy rains accompanied by raging winds, lightning and floods that swept away hundreds of homes in south eastern Africa. To date, over 300 people are confirmed dead and 16,000 households are displaced, leaving 250 thousand people in dire straits. 

Heifer International Zimbabwe is active in the Masvingo province, where it is tracking the situation in the aftermath of the cyclone and getting first hand updates from affected people who are part of Heifer's Uplifting Rural Livelihoods in Masvingo (URLIM) project. Heifer Zimbabwe is also supporting the recovery efforts of affected families by facilitating aid in the form of cement, roofing materials, buckets and other rebuilding supplies, as well as indigenous chickens to help farmers start getting back on their feet.

One project participant, Alice Soroti, recounted her ordeal since Cyclone Idai destroyed her only brick and cement housing structure on the night of 17 March, 2019.

We have never had much and survived on the little we made from subsistence farming, but we encouraged our eldest son to join [the] Heifer [project] hoping that we could rear goats as a better source of income. The cyclone came and washed all those hopes away. Alice Soroti, farmer and Heifer project participant

“We were all sleeping in the two-roomed house and it rained heavily throughout the night. Just before dawn, we heard a loud crack and noticed a partition in the walls. That’s when we removed the children from the house. Not long after that, the walls crumbled,” said Alice who lives with her six children and husband.

“We lost all our productive assets and food because we used this house as our multipurpose strong room where we would store all our food, cook our meals, sleep and keep other valuables,” she added.

Alice said since the storm, her family survives on piecemeal jobs which are paid for in cash or kind. However, she noted that this was not sustainable because even the next meal was not guaranteed.

A partial wall is all that remains of the Soroti family's home.
A crumbling wall is all that remains of the Soroti family's home.

“Some shops are open but whatever is in stock is very expensive. We are trying to keep moving but the uncertainty of the future is just disheartening.  For example, schools in the community have resumed lessons – some in makeshift structures – but we are not sure if we can afford to pay for the coming school term since all our revenue streams were destroyed,” Alice said, highlighting that she had three school going children.

The family is also trying to move past the disaster and has managed to clear the rubble of the demolished house, constructing a temporary kitchen in its place using some roofing material, broken bricks and logs which were salvaged from the wreckage.

“We have never had much and survived on the little we made from subsistence farming, but we encouraged our eldest son, Brian Chigudu (23), to join [the] Heifer [project] hoping that we could rear goats as a better source of income. The cyclone came and washed all those hopes away.” 

Heifer has a Disaster Rehabilitation Fund to help our participants recover in the wake of disasters like Cyclone Idai. You can help victims of Cyclone Idai and other disaster by donating today.


UPDATED SUNDAY, MARCH 24 — Help is desperately needed for several areas where Heifer is working in Malawi and Zimbabwe as the southeastern region of Africa struggles in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Idai.

Heifer International Zimbabwe is working in the Masvingo province, where widespread damage was reported in three districts — the area where we are implementing a five-year project, Upscaling Rural Livelihoods in Masvingo (URLIM), which will eventually work with 15,000 households. The project’s three main goals are improved farm production, enterprise development and food security for farmers in Zaka, Bikita and Gutu districts.

In Gutu, 300 houses were damaged, along with latrines and water collection containers. More than 140 families say their animals are now at risk of parasites as flood waters become more and more contaminated.

In Bikita, more than 600 homes were damaged and the people there fear disease from contaminated drinking water. And in Zaka, roofs were blown away and kitchens destroyed in 350 homes, while as many as 50 Heifer families lost chickens.

Masvingo is situated in the Lowveld of Zimbabwe. The area traditionally receives minimal rainfall, records low yields from agriculture, and relies on cattle ranching and small grains as buffer farming activities.  

Heifer Zimbabwe says the success of the project is at risk in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, and families in the region are unsure what will happen next. 

Chidembo Ratambwa's home was destroyed by Cyclone Idai.

“We are broken and at a loss for words,” said Chidembo Ratambwa, a 70-year-old project participant and grandfather of five, whose house was destroyed by the cyclone. 

Like most in the community, Ester Chaviroma, Ratambwa’s wife, is not yet able to verbally process the disaster, but the scenes of destruction speak for themselves — whole villages have been swept away. Ratambwa stands in front of his shattered house while he narrates how an investment of approximately $3,000 has been reduced to a pile of rubble. 

“Right now, we have no plans,” Ratambwa said. “Our only hope is to wait for the August season when there are no rains, and we can mould some bricks to repair our houses,” he said. Ratambwa also indicated that two of his grandchildren were of school-going age, but he was unsure if they would be able to stay in class. 

“We can scrap for food, but our worst challenge is drinking water, which we fear can cause a cholera outbreak because we are dependent on the river for supplies.”

In Malawi, persistent heavy rains and flash floods affected nearly 5,000 households participating in the Women Integrating Nutrition in Dairy Value Chain project.

Three cows have died and nearly 60 acres of crops were washed away, Heifer Malawi reported. Of the 4,963 households affected, 545 houses are now uninhabitable, some have collapsed.

Project participants here are in dire need of cement, corrugated iron sheets, early seeds cassava, maize and sweet potatoes seeds, water treatment chemicals, blankets and plastic water buckets.


-----

March 19: Zimbabwe has been ravaged by Tropical Cyclone Idai, which reportedly has left close to 100 people dead. The country has yet to come to terms with the tragedy of this natural phenomenon, and the hardest hit areas in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces wait on assistance to usher them through this heart-wrenching catastrophe. 

Heifer International Zimbabwe is active in the Masvingo province and is providing logistical support to the government by providing resources to assess and respond to the effects of Cyclone Idai in the province. 

Masvingo is situated in the Lowveld of Zimbabwe. The area traditionally receives minimal rainfall, records low yields from agriculture, and relies on cattle ranching and small grains as buffer farming activities.  

Currently, Heifer Zimbabwe is implementing a five-year project, Upscaling Rural Livelihoods in Masvingo (URLIM), which will eventually work with 15,000 households. The project’s three main goals are improved farm production, enterprise development and food security for farmers in Zaka, Bikita and Gutu districts of the province.

The success of the project is at risk in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, and families in the region are unsure what will happen next. 

“We are broken and at a loss for words,” said Chidembo Ratambwa, a 70-year-old project participant and grandfather of five, whose house was destroyed by the cyclone. 

Like most in the community, Ester Chaviroma, Ratambwa’s wife, is not yet able to verbally process the disaster, but the scenes of destruction speak for themselves – whole villages have been swept away. Ratambwa stands in front of his shattered house while he narrates how an investment of approximately $3,000 has been reduced to a pile of rubble. 

“Right now, we have no plans,” Ratambwa said. “Our only hope is to wait for the August season when there are no rains, and we can mould some bricks to repair our houses,” he said. Ratambwa also indicated that two of his grandchildren were of school-going age, but he was unsure if they would be able to stay in class. 

“We can scrap for food, but our worst challenge is drinking water, which we fear can cause a cholera outbreak because we are dependant on the river for supplies.”

Heifer Zimbabwe's assessment of the situation is ongoing. Currently, not all affected areas are accessible. So far, no participants or staff members have been reported injured or killed.

Story by Batanai Mutasa, Heifer Zimbabwe communications intern 

Free Download

You only need to enter this information once to download digital resources.

Basket Summary

edit
Your gift will be matched!

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }}

Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ {{ product.price | currency }} Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ FREE Monthly
{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }} Free

Eligible for Gift Card funds

No products in cart.

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }}
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }} Monthly Total {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

edit

Billing Address

{{ billingAddress.first_name }} {{ billingAddress.last_name }} {{ billingAddress.address_1 }} {{ billingAddress.address_2 }} {{ billingAddress.city }}, {{ billingAddress.state }} {{ billingAddress.zip }} {{ billingAddress.country }}

Company

{{ billingAddress.company }}

Shipping Address

{{ shippingAddress.first_name }} {{ shippingAddress.last_name }} {{ shippingAddress.address_1 }} {{ shippingAddress.address_2 }} {{ shippingAddress.city }}, {{ shippingAddress.state }} {{ shippingAddress.zip }} {{ shippingAddress.country }}
edit

Shipping Method

{{ orderShippingOption ? orderShippingOption.description : ""}}

Gift Card Remaining: {{ giftCardTotal | currency }}

Your Gift Card is now active. You can purchase Gift Card-eligible items indicated with  icon.

Basket Summary

Step 1 of 2 Step 1 of 3 Step 1 of 4 Step 1 of 1
Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Your gift will be matched!
Your basket has been updated.
The following item(s) are now sold-out or unavailable and have been removed from your cart:
-{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle}} ({{ product.quantity}})
Gift Card balances can be used for this product

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }} To: {{ product.giftCardRecipientName }} From: {{ product.giftCardSenderPrint }} Email: {{ product.giftCardRecipientEmail }} Delivery: {{ product.giftCardDeliveryDate }} Message: {{ product.giftCardMessage | truncate '200' }} Activation Code: {{ product.giftCardCode }} Delivery: {{ product.additional_info['deliveryDate'] }} Message: {{ product.additional_info['personalMessage'] | truncate '200' }} 1 {{prods["title"]}}

{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }}/month
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
${{ product.price }}
$ {{ product.price }} Free
Remove
Great! We'll help you set up your free Honor Card after your donation is complete.

Gift Message

Personalize your message up to 5 lines in length.

Preview

heifer.org
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Monthly Subtotal {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}
It's not a hand out. It's a hand up.

For maximum impact, try adding a few items to your basket.

Browse The Gift Catalog
Secured Checkout

Increase Your Impact with a Donation Visit the Gift Catalog

Make an even bigger impact with a donation from our Gift Catalog

Responsibly-Sourced, Artisan-Friendly Gifts Shop the Marketplace

Shop the Marketplace for responsibly-sourced, artisan-friendly gifts
Secured Checkout
Continue Shopping
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[2].title }}

Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 4 Select shipping method. Orders after 12:00 PM CST will be shipped the next business day. Orders on Saturday or Sunday will be shipped the next business day.
{{shippingOption.description}} ${{shippingOption.shippingCost}}
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary Edit {{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Payment Information

Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 3 Step 4 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted

Payment Summary

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }}
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }} Monthly Total {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}
Pay By Credit Card
Pay with
Pay with
We were not able to process your request. Please try again or contact Donor Services at 855.9HUNGER (855.948.6437).
Secured Checkout