Online appeal for donations gets underway
On the night of 16 to 17 February 2017, the coastal strip around the Mozambican provincial capital of Inhambane was hit by Tropical Storm Dineo.
According to estimates by the Red Cross and Red Crescent, 130,000 people have been displaced from their homes. As many as 22,000 residential buildings, 49 hospitals and 105 schools and administrative buildings were severely damaged or destroyed in the affected areas. There are no details on the number of casualties. Presently, 1,020 first responders from the Red Cross have already been deployed.
The diving hub of the country – the coastal town of Tofo – is very much affected. “Thank goodness, there were no victims, but the simple huts of the people could not withstand the wind speeds of more than 150 kilometres per hour,” said Leroy Cougle, who has been diving in the region for more than a decade and who has been instrumental in developing the dive sites there. He added that while the repair of a simple hut by local workers costs only US$150, the entire infrastructure of the area has been damaged. At present, there is still no functioning power supply in the area.
For more than 15 years, Tofo has been famous for many whale shark and manta sightings, thrilling thousands of divers from Europe. For a brief insight into the diving in the area, visit: taucher.net/tauchplatz-tofo.
With support from locals such as environmental activists Carlos Macacua und Marcus Trerup of Travel2Mozambique / Terra Agua Ceu in Inhambane, an account has been set up in the Netherlands, where donations can be made through the GoFundMe fundraising platform: www.gofundme.com/divers-for-tofo-reconstruction.