Mozambique: Union to provide assistance to teachers affected by natural catastrophe

published 21 February 2022 updated 13 October 2023

The Organizaçao Nacional dos Professores (ONP) has plans in place to assist 873 member teachers affected by Tropical Storm ANA that hit central and northern Mozambique at the end of January. Education International’s national affiliate will use logistical and human resources assistance allocated by Education International’s Africa regional office (EIRAF) in its efforts. These funds will come from Education International’s Solidarity Fund.

In March, ONP will lead relief activities to affected members, 498 male teachers and 375 female teachers, in the provinces of Nampula, Zambézia, Tete, Manica, and Sofala.

While these provinces suffered most of the effects of the tropical storm, from 24-26 January, the provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa were also impacted, though to a lesser degree, said Teodoro Muidumbe, ONP Secretary General.

Teachers left in extreme poverty after cyclone

The cyclone has left teachers in the provinces living in extreme poverty due to the destruction of their homes and the loss of belongings taken away by water and strong winds.

The funds allocated to ONP by EIRAF will be used to buy diverse basic materials or products, such as blankets and sheets, food kits, domestic utensils kits, hygiene kits, and to rent cars.

The ONP leader added that, according to data from the Disaster Management Institute, Tropical Storm ANA affected about 26,198 families, a total of 126,198 people, of whom 210 were injured and 21 died.

He also stressed that a lot of public and private infrastructure was destroyed – 5,738 houses were completely destroyed and 5,730 houses were flooded; 30 hospitals, 543 classrooms in 249 schools, water sources, roads, and energy sources were also severely affected.

Union solidarity campaign

In the aftermath of the natural disaster, ONP launched a solidarity campaign to collect non-perishable products, blankets, food kits, household items and hygiene products. This action is ongoing at national and international level.

Internally, the ONP National Executive Secretariat coordinates with local bodies to raise and immediately allocate support to the teachers in need. This internal coordination and allocation mechanism will be established at school level where the affected members and beneficiaries of the aid are located.

The union’s General Secretary highlighted that, at international level, the union counts on the collaboration and coordination of the EIRAF “as the interlocutor with ONP’s international partners”.

The ONP’s objectives are three-fold, Muidumbe explained:

  • Allocate products and materials raised to contribute to recovery efforts and to improve the living conditions of affected members in the provinces of Nampula, Zambézia, Tete, Manica, and Sofala.
  • Encourage education authorities to streamline the recovery process at the local level, together with communities and local government authorities.
  • Encourage teachers to become members of the union, following the union’s intervention and advocacy role in social and labour matters.