MAF Disaster Response

Sent from Hamilton Central Baptist Church, Vaughan and Rosemary serve with MAF International in Cairns, Australia. Vaughan has a significant role in MAF’s global disaster response activities. The information following is taken from their latest newsletter.

Following on only 6 weeks after Cyclone Idai devastated southern Mozambique in March, Cyclone Kenneth crossed over northern Mozambique in May. 

Like the earlier response, MAF was the first agency on the ground responding after the cyclone struck. MAF’s aerial survey and photography informed others (including the Mozambique Government Disaster Office) of both the needs and scale of the disaster. 

The MAF Mozambique operation provided a Cessna Caravan aircraft and crew to assist and the Disaster Response team provided the logistical management and flight scheduling as well as ensuring that MAF’s activities were integrated and coordinated with the wider response from Government, the United Nations and other agencies. Shelter kits – a family sized tent –were supplied by UK Aid. MAF flew many of these kits to communities along the coast whose ‘bush material’ housing had been destroyed. 

Another vital way in which MAF assisted was through the provision of communications infrastructure via MAF’s mobile VSAT unit (pictured bottom right). MAF positioned the unit and an operator on Ibo Island, home to around 9,000 people about 15 minutes flight north of the city of Pemba. The island’s cellular-phone tower was damaged leaving the community with no contact with the outside world. The MAF VSAT and aircraft enabled aid agencies and supplies to be bought in to assist. Together, the aircraft and VSAT were deployed for 3 weeks.

The following short video-clip that describes some of MAF’s disaster response activities: 

If you are interested in the work of MAF and would like to learn more, please visit their website www.maf.org.nz