In April, the United Steelworkers of Canada agreed to donate $15,000 (CAD) to farmers in Inhambane province to purchase seeds to renew crops lost in Cyclone Freddy that hit the province in March this year. The donation is being done through the Mozambique Building Fund (MBF), a Canadian charity, which has launched a fund-raising campaign for Cyclone Freddy relief. The MBF has also donated funds to assist with rebuilding houses and school.

Our project is grateful to these two Canadian organizations and their members, who are helping Mozambican community members rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

As we described in our March blog, Don Kossick and Denise Kouri were in Inhambane Province when Cyclone Freddy hit – they were very close to its major pathway. “We saw the devastation created — the destruction of homes and community infra-structure such as water supply and sanitation. Crops were beaten down, trees fell. Roads were flooded by rain and blocked by fallen trees, becoming almost impossible to navigate. Schools and health facilities lost parts of their roofs.” Don was interviewed by CBC Radio Saskatchewan while driving to one of the affected communities. You can listen to the on-the-spot interview here.

Since returning, they have been doing fund-raising through the Mozambique Building Fund. “Damages to Mozambican homes, crops and schools will depend on donations from international organizations. Our Mozambican colleagues have outlined some priority areas needing critical help. Being able to plant crops – corn and peanuts – was one of the first priorities, and being able to access the seed to do so.”

The United Steelworkers responded to the call. Other individuals have also donated. The Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation has passed on the appeal of support to the MBF campaign. But the needs are great and support for crops, in particular, is urgent as Mozambique moves into the cold season and people prepare their fields for replanting.  Freddy has been described as the longest-lasting and most energetic tropical cyclone on record, hitting Mozambique twice. If you want to donate, please go to CanadaHelps.org and search for “Mozambique Building Fund”.