We have just received the following message from Boris Yabre, M.Afr., Provincial Delegate for Mozambique.
Dear confreres and Friends and Benefactors and People of Good will, greetings from Beira.
Six days ago, I sent you a SOS message sharing with you about what we are living on the ground and appealing for help.
We want to thank each and every one of you for your constant prayers and growing concern. Some of you have already sent your contributions to alleviate the pains of the people around us; others are still looking for the ways and means to do so. We wholeheartedly say thank you.
On Tuesday, the Archbishop of Beira called for an urgent meeting of the pastoral agents of the archdiocese. About hundred people or so were present. we shared about the current situation of the people at the various places of the diocese.
Putting aside the lost lives, people are in extreme need of food, drinking water and shelters. Some incidents occurred by which the population went and broke some shops in order to get food without fearing the police presence. There is no guaranty and certainty if the humanitarian aid is reaching everywhere. Bureaucracy, protocols, greed can be a hindrance to that.
The majority of the parish churches, chapels and schools are down or roofless. Many convents and presbyteries suffered. The archbishop suspended all the pastoral planned activities until further notice. The urgency of the time is to be with the people, share their pains and give them hope regardless of their religious, political and ethnical affiliation. We were reminded not to lose sight on what the Lord may want to tell us through this calamity.
This 4th Sunday of Lent celebration is dedicated to pray for the victims of the cyclone Idai all over the archdiocese of Beira. Each parish will make special collection today to help its most affected people.
The sad reality is that in the market places the prices of essential products have gone higher. The price of iron sheet and cement have gone up in a moment where people are in dire need. The lusalite (asbestos) sheets cannot be sold to ordinary people. It is reserved for government use in order to fix first the public structures: Government offices and schools.
In the Sector house and Nazaré Centre of Formation, what occupied the mind these last days was to make some cleaning up: gathering the iron sheet left here and there by the wind, clearing the ground as most of the mango and coconut trees were down, in order to give way and protect ourselves. So far there is no electricity. Only the ‘chosen few” have access to it. At least, the Central Hospital have electricity and the Health Centres are using generators. Right now, the city of Beira is running out of generators on sale. To have one there is need to order it from Chimoio or Tete.
Sussundenga has no electricity neither. Those who lost their houses are given only tents by the Red Cross. The fields are swept away by the waters giving way to despair and the imminence of a year of hunger.
In Dombe there is rising need of food, shelters, and drinking water. For whatever reason, it is one of the forgotten places of the country. The fields got flooded and the crops are gone. Our community chapels in some villages which partly fell are where some families are living.
On the estimates you can add ‘we shall try to come up with so concrete figures by the end of this week for what our Confreres may need for their missions and in order to contribute to helping the needy…
So far, we cannot give any estimate of what could cost the reconstruction of our structures: Nazaré Centre of formation, the Sector house. It seems to be too soon to have clear references, giving the general chaos we are in. We shall try to come up with so concrete figures by the end of this week for what our Confreres may need for their mission and in order to contribute to helping the needy.
The families of our candidates which we managed to contact are safe. They do also have some challenges like anybody else. Our confreres and stagiaires are doing well. They continue to be close to the people and to face with them the test of time.
Boris Yabre, M.Afr.