The Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation wishes to express sympathy and solidarity with the Governments and people of the Republics of Botswana, Eswatini, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe following the recent Tropical Cyclone Eloise, which resulted in loss of lives, displacement of communities and the destruction of infrastructure and properties.
Tropical Cyclone Eloise started as a Tropical Storm and made landfall in Madagascar in the early hours of 19th January 2021. Thereafter, it gained momentum after reaching the Mozambique channel and developed into a Category 2 Tropical Cyclone. It made landfall near Beira in the Sofala Province of Mozambique on 23rd January 2020 with strong winds and heavy rains.
Preliminary reports indicate that the cyclone has affected over 1,000 people in Madagascar and left one person dead. More than 500 people in different communities have been displaced. Reports also indicate that 134 houses were flooded while 56 houses have been completely destroyed. Nearly 100 classrooms were destroyed and around 5,000 students do not have access to school facilities.
In Mozambique, the Cyclone led to heavy rains and widespread flooding that affected more than 21,500 people, resulting in the loss of 3 lives. More than 3,900 hectares of farmland have been inundated and over 50,000 km2 of land in Sofala and Manica provinces have been flooded with impacts on livelihoods, agriculture production and food security and other ecosystem services.
The Tropical Cyclone has also affected some parts of Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa, where heavy rains and flooding led to the loss of 13 lives, as well as destruction of various infrastructure and property.
While detailed assessments are still being conducted, the SADC Organ would like to thank the governments of the affected countries, civil society organisations, as well as local and regional partners for the proactive steps that they have taken to save lives and to support the communities negatively affected by the Cyclone.
The SADC Organ wishes to call upon countries and communities that are likely to be affected by the aftermath of the cyclone to remain vigilant and put in place measures to protect people from the residual impacts, especially the heavy rains and floods.
Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi
President of the Republic of Botswana and Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
Download the full statement from this link: Statement by the SADC Chair of the Organ, H.E. Dr Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi on Cyclone Eloise.pdf