Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny
          Cyclone Idai : Report of the Beira Community, Mozambique

Cyclone Idai : Report of the Beira Community, Mozambique

Our house lost its roof ; the metal sheets flew in the wind, the beams are no longer secure, the false ceiling have been peeled back allowing water to come into the house resulting in a lot of damage ...

Tropical Cyclone Idai : Report of the Beira Community, Mozambique

It was on March 14, 2019 that Cyclone Idai hit the city of Beira, capital of Sofala Province, with winds of at least 167 to 200 kilometers per hour, causing human and physical damages in the outlying districts. Hundreds of homes were destroyed ; a humanitarian disaster of great proportions. Idai hit the city of Beira as a category four, on a scale of five.

The city of Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique. Today the city is without electricity, difficulties with telephone communication and no drinking water.

The Community of Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny is located in the District of Munhava. Being in the center of the city it is known as the most populated area in the city of Beira. Our Sisters founded the community in this neighborhood more than 54 years ago. There are 4 sisters working

  • for the promotion of women (literacy, sewing, cooking, computer science),
  • in education (a sister teaches in the parish and community school)
  • and in an orphanage (three sisters work with 100 orphaned children. all the responsibility of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny).
  • They all do pastoral work in the parish.
  • This community also welcomes the formation of Aspirants : at this moment we have 8 aspirants completing their 12th class as well as doing their training.

Damage caused by Cyclone Idai.

  • Our house lost its roof, the metal sheets flew in the wind,
  • the beams are no longer secure,
  • the false ceiling have been peeled back allowing water into the house resulting in a lot of damage ;
  • the doors and windows were broken,
  • 18 mattresses have been damaged,
  • the tables in the rooms have been damaged,
  • the wood no longer usable ;
  • the laundry also lost its roof, damaging blankets and sheets ;
  • the furniture is in poor condition,
  • the extra food was wet.

All of this left the sisters with nothing to eat or drink !

The congregation’s books and documents were also wet and the space where we worked for the promotion of women was also damaged by the wind. The home where the children live and the study room were all damaged by the wind, the guest house is without windows. The boys’ dorms did not suffer any damage, thank God.

Until now, there is still no light. Our sisters have no place to sleep because all the rooms have been damaged by the cyclone. They "live" in a tiny space : two sleep in the dining room, one uses the sofa as a bed, that’s where I slept, when I went to visit the sisters ; 4 girls sleep in the sacristy, 2 sleep in the living room, on the floor, a sister and two girls sleep in the orphanage, in a small corner. As far as food is concerned, they received it from the AMI (International Medical Assistance) who are in Beira to help the population. They live by the grace of Divine Providence.

Current situation :

The increase in demand has pushed up prices ; the population that was left with nothing complain about the high prices being charged by those who have something to sell. "There is a certain opportunism on the part of the merchants with the goods that arrived before the cyclone", but they raised the prices in such a way that no one can purchase them.

It is difficult to find fresh produce “because you have to buy produce for immediate consumption. There is no way to conserve them because there is no energy.”

I take this opportunity to express my deep and eternal gratitude for the solidarity, closeness and affection of our Superior General, her Council and the whole Congregation. This warmth and communion are helping us, at this time, during which the Lord asks us to intensify the experience of Lent. To all people of good will we extend our gratitude. May God reward you for all eternity.

Let us praise God that the Sisters and the children did not suffer or die.

Thank you !
Sister Regilda Silvério

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