“A mud house in a flood area” describes the home where Cecília, 24, her four children and three orphan nephews lived before Cyclone Idai, which affected 1.8 million people in Mozambique in 2019. “Due to the cyclone, I lost my house and documents. I worked with agriculture and managed to sell my production but, after Cyclone Idai, I had no money and nowhere to live. I thought of how I could go on with my life and get back to normal”, she recalled.
To start over, Cecília and the seven children moved to Mandruzi resettlement neighborhood, an area granted by the local government to vulnerable displaced families under an urban development plan. “At that time, the important thing for me was to find a safe place where we would have our own land, without having to leave afterwards”, said Cecília, remembering the schools and temporary shelters where they had flee before.
Two years later, the family currently rebuilds a new life, with the support of organizations on the ground. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is building a house for the family and has promoted several income-generating activities for Cecilia, who is the head of the family, through the post-cyclone program Mozambique Recovery Facility (MRF), in coordination with Government’s Reconstruction Cabinet (GREPOC), with funds from the European Union, Canada, China, Finland, India, the Netherlands and Norway.
For the first time Cecília and her children will live in a cement house, sturdy to withstand climate events, and safe in the rainy season. From the backyard of the old house, she has been following the construction work of the family's new residence since its foundation. “I see the materials they use and there is a lot of difference from our old house. It will also be simpler to maintain hygiene, while in the mud house which has no windows, the dust never ends.”