2019 – First response to Cyclone Idai Posted March 16, 2019 by Adrian Nance


The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai demanded a response from Wings Like Eagles. It’s what we do! So in March 2019 our CEO, Adrian Nance, flew out to join up with our partners in Mozambique to reach out to the 1.8 million people affected. This is part of that story. The story of our first response to Cyclone Idai.

Cyclone Idai – Day 2 the initial response!

Mercy Air were our main partners in this response. And we have teamed with them before. As quickly as on day 2 we were working together with them and with Mission Aviation Fellowship to deliver aid into an isolated town in the mouth of the Zambezi. It meant using the MAF aircraft to move rice and maize flour to an isolated sugar airstrip. Then the Mercy Air helicopter could move it on to the town.

Who helped us to make the first response in Cyclone Idai?

Some disasters are predictable. Good weather forecasting and good links with people on the ground make them predictable. And we want to make rapid responses to disasters like that: like Cyclone Idai. It’s Wings’ regular donors that allowed us to make this first response. Many UK charities ask for only £2 ($2.6) per month. Why? Because a regular flow of money allows so much. Regular donors let Wings to buy stores in advance. Monthly donations allow us to deploy the right people in advance. And they allow Wings to build the partnerships that make us all so much more effective. Above all, regular donations allow us to be swift. Like this response on day 2 after Cyclone Idai. Why not join our regular donors today! You can literally save lives.

What we did

Cyclone IDAI – the response on the Zambezi. Consulting with the government.

Disaster relief is a national responsibility.
So, on day 2 we met with the Mozambican government to discuss how we could help. It was essential to make early links with the Mozambican government agency responsible. It is called the INGC, an abbreviation of the Portuguese for the “national institute for disaster management”. Their word is calamitades. Great word – for this really was a calamity! Immediately, they targeted us to Chinde. It is right in the delta of the mouth of the Zambezi river. The fourth largest river in Africa. Immediately we responded.

Cyclone IDAI – loading the helicopter. People from Switzerland, Texas, Idaho and Eastleigh.

So, we loaded the Mercy Air Squirrel helicopter. It is made in Europe it has a flat floor and a sliding door which is very useful for getting aid cargo in and out. It also has two cargo compartments behind the main cabin. Here you can see these being loaded with food for Chinde town. Food is one aid item. Shelter could be another. Doctors, vaccines or water purification tools may be others. This day it was food. The food was provided by the Mozambican government. They were great to deal with.

Cyclone IDAI – the people get food!

People of Chinde were so grateful too. You can hear helicopters some way off. So even the mayor of the town turned out as we landed. Their town is surrounded by water. It normally supplied by boat. But when cyclones hit, boats can’t be used so helicopters are the only answer.

How you can help

Why not support us to bring help to needy communities by donating now?

Or why not become a regular donor to Wings Like Eagles? Many of our gifts are small: so please don’t think your donation is too little. If you give regularly, it soon builds up! Then we can respond quickly. Thank you so much!

Food to the hungry. Life-saving assistance to the isolated. Access for all. Help us to achieve all this. That’s how you can help us….

You can see our annual reports to see what we have done. Or why not contact us? Help us to help the needy. Thank you.