Photographer:Fotograaf: Flickr/ Denis Onyodi Climate Centre
MAASTRICHT. Three faculty buildings were completely destroyed, as were the small hospital and training clinic that belonged to it. Cyclone Idai, which made landfall in the city of Beira, Mozambique on Thursday 14 March, destroyed a large part of Universidade Católica de Moçambique (UCM). Maastricht University has close links with UCM and has started a fundraiser.
Tidal waves of several metres high, rivers bursting their banks, and a sea of mud of more than 3,000 square kilometres. Cyclone Idai left a trail of destruction behind in Mozambique, but also in Malawi and Zimbabwe. The number of fatalities - which is feared to be in the thousands - is still rising, there is a shortage of food, drinking water, medicines, everything actually. There have already been outbreaks of cholera and malaria.
The seaport of Beira, Mozambique's second-largest city with more than half a million inhabitants, was badly hit. Geraldine Beaujean, director of SHE Collaborates (School of Health Professions Education), was in Beira for an appointment at UCM's head office on Wednesday 13 March. “We have been working together with this university, which has faculties in various cities in Mozambique, since the nineteen-nineties. We helped them set up the medical faculty, built a small hospital together, and trained a generation of doctors. I was there for a health information project on sexuality, together with Miriam Groenhof, a colleague from the Aidsfonds.”
She was there when the cyclone hit, she saw the havoc and feels “that we as a university must take our responsibility. We must contribute towards UCM and help them to literally rebuild everything.” That is why Maastricht University is setting up a fundraiser for the rebuilding of the UCM in Beira. Donations can be made to bank account number NL21 INGB 0653 6632 42. Mentioning ‘Zorg voor Beira’ or ‘Care for Beira’. Beaujean: “In this way we will know that the money will end up with the university and be put to good use.”
IBAN: NL21 INGB 0653 6632 42 (Stichting Universiteitsfonds SWOL) Stating ‘Zorg voor Beira’ or ‘Care for Beira