Lourenco, LDCN Project Manager, assembling a water filter to be distributed

Local Development Catalyst Network – Access to Clean Water after Cyclone Idai, Mozambique

Cyclone Idai in Central Mozambique is one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere. More than 1,000 people lost their lives and millions were impacted by the devastating cyclone and the unprecedented floods that followed. Despite this tragedy, Mozambicans are a resilient and strong people that have come together and are working hard to overcome the difficult challenges and road ahead.

Local Development Catalyst Network – LDCN – has been working in the affected region for close to 10 years helping provide access to education, clean water, and sustainable food production. Since first official starting our community project in 2011, LDCN and the locally community has collaborated to build a local primary school, drill 5 boreholes to provide access to clean water, and develop an agroecological demonstration farm to support local food security. However, this small area where LDCN is based (Lamego Locality, Nhamatanda District, Sofala Province, Mozambique) was one of the hardest hit areas with flash floods completely destroying homes, schools and lives in addition to the community agriculture fields. This flooding has also destroyed LDCN community base and local infrastructure. In order to help support the community, for the last 6 weeks LDCN has diverted all of its yearly funds to providing emergency relief that includes food distribution, seed distribution and providing over 100 water filters to provide access to clean water and to prevent against water borne diseases such as cholera.

As we move beyond this first response effort, we also need to rebuild the communities infrastructure and provide some longer and more sustainable solutions to urgent needs such as access to clean water and food security. Our first step in this process is repairing and replacing our solar panel water pump system that pumps water from our borehole to provide clean water to close to 97 families, approximately 750 people. This is an essential step in securing clean water for the months ahead. The Pollination Project grant will allow us to repair and install our first pump immediately. The water from this pump will not only be used for clean drinking water but will also allow us to replant our vegetable garden. The produce from the garden will be used to supplement a school based feeding program for the more than 200 children at the local school.

Although there is no way to rebuild everything the community lost in a short period, these first steps are essential to healing and recovering from this tragedy through meaningful acts of solidarity and support. With more projects like this, more support from people and organizations like The Pollination Project and through community leadership and community solidarity, we hope to shift this awful tragedy into an inflection point for change that leads to a more resilient and flourishing future for the community and community members!