Life Drama

AfricaAfrica AsiaLife Drama

Young woman hacked with a machete by husband gets justice through UNFPA support

Anna Salima, 24, has painful memories of her two marriages. With her first marriage, it took her just a week to realize she had married the wrong man. Yet she stayed for five years, enduring verbal and physical abuse, as she hoped her husband would change.

After their first child was born, she couldn’t stand it any longer and returned to her parent’s home. She was bitter about the abuse she suffered and vowed never to marry again. It wasn’t long before another man began promising her a marriage made in heaven.

“He seemed to be somewhat different from my first husband,” she says. “He was so kind and caring, I thought of giving him a chance.”

Within a few months of meeting, the two became engaged. A traditional wedding ceremony followed and Ms. Salima forgot about the pains of her first marriage. But not for long.

A few months after they married, her new husband questioned why she wasn’t yet pregnant.

“I pointed out that it may be his problem, as I already had children from my first marriage,” she says. “This didn’t go down well with him. He became moody and started drinking excessively.”

His heavy drinking foreshadowed the horrors Ms. Salima was to face.

“This one day, he came back home totally drunk. We had a minor disagreement and he pulled a knife, threatening to stab me,” she says. “Luckily, my sister was around and she intervened.”

Things improved a little when Ms. Salima became pregnant. After two years, she delivered a second child in her new marriage, yet by then her husband was drinking regularly and heavily.

Nkhata Bay, where Ms. Salima hails from, has one of the highest number of cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country

When she returned from the field one day, she found her husband sitting on the veranda in a sour mood. At times like this, she made a point of avoiding confrontations with him.

“He asked for food and I prepared a meal for him,” she recollects. “After that, he said he wanted to sleep with me but I pleaded that I was tired. He tried to drag me into the house and I refused.”

In anger, her husband stormed off and returned with a machete. He struck her arm twice with the powerful blade before she managed to flee, with him in pursuit.

“I was bleeding heavily,” she says. “The only place I knew I would be safe was at the Community Victim Support Unit (CVSU). I ran as fast as possible, and he eventually became tired and stopped pursuing me.”

At the CVSU, she explained what had happened to her. Because she was badly injured and had no means to access essential services, the CVSU contacted the Community Fund Committee (CFC), which agreed to release funds for her to get the urgent medical treatment she needed. The CFC forms part of the European Union-funded Spotlight Initiative, which supports GBV survivors with resources to access health services and the judicial system.

“At the health centre, they said my wound was severe and I was referred to Nkhata Bay district hospital,” she says. Because of the extent of her injuries from the machete, she came close to losing her hand. “They put plaster of Paris on my arm and told me to come back for a check-up in two months.”

Justice at last, with UNFPA and Spotlight Initiative support

The CVSU also alerted the community policing forum, and members were sent to her house to apprehend her husband. When her case reached the courts, the CFC mobilized further funds for Ms. Salima to attend her husband’s hearing.

“I am thankful for the support,” she says. “Without it, I couldn’t have made it to the court sessions.”

Her husband was convicted and is serving six years in prison. However, she feels the sentence should have been stiffer.

“I wanted him to get 30 years or more,” she says. “I am lucky that he injured my arm as he was aiming for the head. Such people should be put away for life as they are not only a risk to women but the community at large.”

Nkhata Bay, where Ms. Salima hails from, has one of the country’s highest cases of gender-based violence (GBV). Recent statistics for the district show that out of every 100 women and girls who experienced GBV, 11 of them experienced physical violence.

UNFPA has supported 18 communities at Traditional Authority or Sub-Traditional Authority level in Nkhata Bay with community funding. As at April 2022, this funding had supported 823 women and girls who experienced and survived GBV in the district.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaLife Drama

6 journalists detained over viral Video of President Kiir wetting self in South Sudan

The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJSS), has revealed the identities of the six journalists detained in relation to a leaked video of President Salva Kiir allegedly urinating on himself while at an official event two weeks ago.

Head of the UJSS, Patrick Oyet, confirmed on Saturday that five of the journalists were detained on Tuesday while one was arrested and detained on Wednesday.

Oyet said he hopes any investigation will be fast and said that the media should act professionally.

Those detained include Joval Tombe, Victor Lado, Mustafa Osman, Jacob Benjamin, Oliver Wani, and Cherbek Reuben.

However, South Sudan’s Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, in a statement, said “people should wait to hear the reason for why the media workers are being held.”

The controversial video footage which went viral and was shared widely on social media in late December, showed President Kiir urinating on himself while at an engagement, but the video was quickly cut away from the shots of the 71-year-old president.


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AfricaLife Drama

LIFE-DRAMA: Treasurer sentenced to three years imprisonment for stealing Church’s tithe and offering money

The Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in South Africa on Wednesday, November 9, sentenced a Zimbabwean woman, Lady Memory Mutsika, to 3 years of direct imprisonment for 128 counts of theft.

Mutsika,43, was a church treasurer of the Pretoria City Seventh-Day Adventist church. Her responsibilities included transferring tithe and offering money deposited to the church account, to the Northern Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

During a period of 4 years from 2012 to 2015, Mutsika transferred more than R800 000 of the money received from the tithe and offerings to her bank account and for her personal use.

In court, she pleaded guilty to the charges and asked for a non-custodial sentence to pay the church back the money over five years.

However, the state argued that Mutsika always indicated her willingness to pay back the money and has not paid back a single cent since March 2022, after she was convicted.

The magistrate agreed with the state and said Mutsika showed no remorse. He said she stopped stealing not because of her conscience, but because she was caught. The church placed her in a position of trust, but she betrayed that trust.

He further said that he viewed Mutsika’s willingness to pay back the money, as a bargaining tool and as a ticket to keep her out of prison. Therefore, a sentence of imprisonment was appropriate and criminal conduct has consequences.

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AfricaLife Drama

LIFE DRAMA: 23-year-old boy fakes own kidnap to extort N10million from parents

In order to rake in N10 million from his parents, a 23-year-old boy, Edward Okache, has arranged his abduction by some men in Ogun State.

On Monday, police said Okache was nabbed with four others: Asamoah Ernest, Isiah Uti, Ephraim Anyijor, and charity Lukpata, whom he told to kidnap him.

One Comfort Okache had earlier reported at the Mowe divisional headquarters via a phone call that his younger brother, traveling from Calabar to Lagos, had been kidnapped around Mowe area of Ogun State.

According to the police spokesman in Ogun, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the kidnappers were demanding N10 million if the relatives wanted to see the boy alive.

Upon the report, DAILY POST learned that the DPO of Mowe division, SP Folake Afeniforo had mobilized the division tactical teams to the area

“Upon painstaking and enduring combing of the surrounding bush at Orimerunmu area, the victim was sighted in an uncompleted building with the duo of Asamoah Ernest, a Ghanaian, and Isiah Uti, where he was tied in both hands and legs,” Oyeyemi said.

Police rescued the acclaimed victim and arrested the two suspects found with him.

“But on getting to the station, the two arrested suspects made a shocking revelation that the so-called victim was the person who planned with them to kidnap him in order for him to extort money from his parents to invest in an online business,” it was explained.

They had confessed further that the said Okache was introduced to them by Anyijor and Lukpata. They are also indigenes of the same Yala Local Government Area of Cross River as the victim, saying that they all are part of the planned kidnap of Edward Okache.

Their confession, Oyeyemi stated, led to the arrest of Anyijor and Lukpata, adding that “they have all confessed to the commission of the crime.”

The Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Lanre Bankole, has directed that the case be referred to the anti-kidnapping unit of the State CIID for further investigation and possible prosecution.

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AfricaLife Drama

LIFE DRAMA: My lover was kidnapped to raise money for our wedding — Suspect

A 28-year-old kidnap suspect, Bello Ahmed, has revealed that he kidnapped his lover to raise money for their marriage.

The suspect was arrested along with three others for their alleged involvement in the abduction of one Miss Hannah Queen at Apo Estate, recently.

It was learned that the principal suspect, Bello, had allegedly conspired with three others ¾ Ibrahim Mohammed, 30; Bilyamiyu Mohammed, 30; and Uche Daniel ¾ to abduct his lover to raise money for their traditional marriage.

The victim was abducted on March 26, 2022 after a carefully-organized plan by her lover who she met in Dubai.

The four suspects were arrested by operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

The police said the suspects were arrested for criminal conspiracy and kidnapping over the well-coordinated kidnap.

Their arrest is a sequel to a report filed at the IRT Headquarters at Guzape by one of the victim’s uncles, ACP Yusuf Sanni.

However, in his statement, Bello admitted to organising the abduction of his lover because she had put him under pressure to raise money for their traditional marriage.

He said, “My lover put so much pressure on me to marry her. So, I was forced to kidnap her to raise the money I needed. I regret my involvement in the act as I couldn’t get the money. I expected that I will be paid the ransom.”

The kidnapped victim who is a lawyer and daughter of a renowned diplomat was said to be in a relationship with the suspect who lives in Dubai United Arab Emirates UAE. Also, Bello is a friend to the parents of the victim.

Police investigations revealed that the key suspect had married a wife and had two children in Dubai before relocating to Nigeria.

The investigation also revealed that the suspect had a rented apartment at the aforementioned estate in Abuja upon his relocation to Nigeria based on the relationship.

He was alleged to have brought the other three gang members into the 3-bedroom bungalow apartment three days before the kidnap was arranged by himself when the lady visited him and was relaxing in his living room.

After the criminal gang members took him and his would-be spouse into captivity, he made the victim believe that he had sent N10m to the kidnappers for their release through a fake bank alert, until she discovered the antics and started calling her parents for her release.

The key suspect confessed that they expected a total of N50m as ransom from the parents of the victim so that the gang would get up to at least N10m each.

Further interrogation revealed that Bello had initially planned to marry the lady as a second wife in November 2022, but moved the marriage ceremony forward to July to forestall the possibility of her marriage to a newfound lover.

Exhibits said to have been recovered from the suspects include a hack saw, two masks, one beret cap, one masking tape, and one iPhone.

Other exhibits said to have been used by the suspects for the kidnapping and still missing from the house of the key suspect include; three toy guns and an axe.

According to the investigative Police Officer, Sergeant Law Okeke, all the suspects are culpable in the crime as all have made useful statements to aid the police investigations into the crime.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, has directed the police authorities on the imperatives of diligent prosecution of the matter in the nation’s law courts for justice to be served on all the suspects involved.


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LIFE DRAMA: Man kills girlfriend for cheating

Tragedy struck in Mararaba when a man identified as Kingsley killed his girlfriend, Anyawu Grace, for allegedly sleeping with another man in Karu LGA of Nasarawa State.

City & Crime learnt that the incident happened on Sunday morning.

Kingsley was said to have returned from a night journey and found his girlfriend with another man after peeping through the window.

A neighbour, Ogunleye Tunde, told our reporter that: “As soon as he discovered this, he forcefully opened the door, went to the kitchen and took a knife, killed his girlfriend and also attempted to stab the man, who fought back to save his life.

“The man was able to escape and he raised the alarm which drew the attention of neighbours to the incident. Kingsley fled afterwards.”

The mother of the deceased, Madam Anyawu Joyce, said the matter had been reported to the police, while her daughter’s remains had been deposited in a mortuary.

There was no reaction from the Nasarawa State Police Command on the incident as of the time of filing this report.

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AfricaLife Drama

LIFE DRAMA: I have learnt to be patient, tolerant and friendly — 28-yr-old jailed wife recounts ordeal

AS a teenager, Olamide Akinbobola’s biggest dream was to marry a good man and raise a home filled with love. That dream was fueled by the fact that she never enjoyed the love of a mother or father. Her mother was a mentally unstable woman, who roamed the streets of Lagos and nobody knew how she became pregnant.

Olamide was born and raised by her mother on the dirty corners of the street. When her mother passed away a few years after, her grandfather took custody of her. Under her grandfather’s care, rather than abate, Olamide’s turbulent childhood continued as the old man passed her from one relative to another. By the time she turned 21, Olamide had suffered unimaginable torrents of abuse and deprivation.

Despite her ordeal, Olamide continued to keep hope alive believing that one day, she would meet a man with whom she would build the kind of loving home that she never had. That wish came earlier than she expected when Dare Akinbobola, a young man she had met while on errand, professed undying love for her. Few months into their relationship, the duo were married in a very humble traditional marriage ceremony.

Early signs of trouble
After the marriage, the couple stayed back in the one room apartment, where Dare was living in his family house. Olamide was uncomfortable with the arrangement, but , resigned to fate since there was no money to rent an apartment elsewhere. Olamide soon became the breadwinner of the home because Dare didn’t have any steady means of income. Despite her efforts, Dare suddenly turned into a horrible, unchecked beast, who pounced on her at every vexation. Several times, Dare’s family members prevailed on him to stop the beating, but rather than stop, the beating increased, warranting them to send him and Olamide out of the house.

Beating continues
Olamide managed to secure another apartment in Ikorodu, where she and Dare, who had momentarily become remorseful, moved into. She took up a teaching job in a local school and would also do other menial jobs to sustain the family. Soon after the arrival of their first child, Dare resumed his beating and this time it got worse. Their fighting soon became a public spectacle in the community as neighbours would often gather to watch them.

Appeals to Dare fell on deaf ears. Olamide momentarily packed out of the house, but, soon returned when she realised that she was pregnant with her second child. She endured even more serious beatings throughout the pregnancy until the unexpected happened a month after her delivery.

The big fight
Recounting the incident that led to the fight, Olamide said: “I had just finished cooking rice when I pleaded with my husband to give me N50 to add to what I had so I can take okada to the school where I teach. I was on three months maternity leave but I insisted on resuming work so that we can have money for feeding as my husband has refused to get a job or continue with his generator repairing job.

“He refused to give me the money and an argument ensued. I left him alone, and turned to dish out the rice I just cooked into a small cooler that I will take to school. Before I knew what was happening, my husband locked the door and pounced on me. He punched me, grabbed my neck, slammed my face to the floor and sat on my tummy. I thought I was going to pass out so I stretched my hand to pick up anything to hit him to get him to release his grip and stop punching me.

“My hand touched something metallic; it was the knife I used earlier to cut onions. I said to myself, let me just prick his shoulder so he can release me. I stabbed the shoulder a little; it worked as he released his grasp. I quickly stood up, opened the door and ran out. He ran after me from the front of the house to the back street. I kept running while crying for help until I noticed I couldn’t hear his footsteps again.

“I looked back and saw him on the floor. I thought he was pretending, so I walked back slowly and cautiously to him. On getting closer, I noticed that he wasn’t moving, I shook him thinking this must be a prank but lo and behold, my husband was dead. I ran screaming for help, calling on people around to help me take him to the hospital. When people came and checked him, he was already dead.

Journey to prison
Olamide’s journey to prison began with that sad incident in 2018. She was subsequently arrested by policemen from Igbogbo Police Station, Ikorodu and later transferred to State Police Criminal Investigation Department, CID, Panti, Yaba. After her arraignment at the Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court for murder, she was remanded in Kirikiri Prisons on the orders of Chief Magistrate O.A. Komolafe.

Battle to save Olamide
Convinced of her innocence, some well-meaning Nigerians rallied round to save Olamide from being sentenced to death. While some individuals embarked on public campaign for leniency for the young woman, Jennichi Foundation spearheaded the struggle to ensure that Olamide is well-represented in court. For three years, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Babatunde Ogala with Olabisi Oridate took up the legal battle to save Olamide from the hangman’s verdict.

After a sterling argument from the defence team, the trial judge reconsidered the death sentence stipulation for the charges against Olamide and instead sentenced her to one year imprisonment for manslaughter on September 24, 2021. Before the verdict, she had spent three years already, awaiting trial since the offence for which she was charged was not bailable. While in prison, Olamide’s two children were handed over to an orphanage home as there was nobody to take care of them.

Release from prison
After serving her jail term, Olamide walked out of prison a free woman on May 24, 2022. Narrating her prison experience to Encounter, Olamide said: I spent four years in prison on the incident. What I went through was not easy. When the incident happened, I almost ran mad, because it was not something I did intentionally. If it was intentional, I would have run away but I took him to the hospital and unfortunately, I lost him. While in the facility, through counselling and encouragement from people and organisations that visit prisons, I have learnt to be patient, tolerant and friendly. It is not everything you see you talk about.”

On what she would have done differently to avoid the ugly incident that led her to prison, Olamide said she would have left the marriage immediately the beating started. “I endured the beating because I loved my husband and wanted a home for my children. I went through hell in that abusive marriage and endured the beating and humiliation.”

Advising people to immediately flee from any abusive relationship or marriage, she said: “Once there is domestic violence, run. My ordeal began the moment I chose to stay in an abusive marriage. I stayed because I thought it will get better. If I had run away when I had the opportunity to, I wouldn’t have killed him in self-defense nor would I have spent four years of my life in prison.”

Jennichi Foundation’s intervention
Jennifer Owolabi, Director, Jennichi Foundation spoke to Encounter on the effort her foundation put in to ensure that Olamide’s case received the appropriate attention and sympathy of the justice system. She said: “It has been traumatic since we took up this case. I got interested in Olamide’s case after I read what happened and how neighbours in her community spoke very highly of her effort to make her marriage work despite the constant abuse and beating by her late husband. I tracked her to their house and later to the police station, then Panti.”

“My Foundation had to do an autopsy for Olamide’s husband and bury him as his family members were not willing to come for his corpse. We managed to get hold of one of his step brothers to join me at the cemetery as witnesses. Apart from being at the court at every sitting while Olamide was awaiting trial in Kirikiri Female Prisons, we kept visiting the orphanage where her children were with supplies and also to see how they were doing.”

“Although Jennichi Foundation rented an apartment for Olamide, she still needs financial empowerment to enable her to have custody of her children, who are still at the orphanage. Olamide’s desire to reunite with her children has not been possible because of the processes involved, which requires she must have a comfortable shelter, where she will be staying with her children, proof of her means of income to show that she can take care of her two children. She will also need to prove that her children will not stop their education. My foundation is making passionate appeal to members of the public to support our effort to reunite Olamide with her children and empower her to take care of them.”


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Life Drama

LIFE DRAMA: Catholic priest sacked for secretly marrying two wives in Kaduna

A Catholic Priest, Very Reverend Father Peter Zuni, 54, of the Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Kakuri parish, Kaduna State, has been sacked for allegedly marrying two women

One of the wives is deceased, while the surviving one decided to open up on the long-kept secret about 3 weeks ago.

The Archbishop of Kaduna Catholic Diocese, Bishop Ndagoso Manoso, confirmed the report to Sunday Sun.

‎Bishop Manoso, who said Father Zuni actually committed the sin, disclosed that the woman at the centre of the controversy confronted him with a baby said to belong to Father Zuni, and that after due investigation by his office, it was confirmed that the priest was her secret husband.

Bishop Manoso said, “It is true that he had affairs with two women and they both had children for him, but one of the women is late already. We are not God, we did not know on time until now that he was having affairs with two women.

“The church said the priest has to go because the church doesn’t allow priests to marry. So he had to go and look after his children and his matrimonial home. By December he will be 30 years in the priesthood, and he is now 54 years old, so at this age what can he do with his life?

“Nobody can employ him now. He spent seven years in the seminary and 30 years in the priesthood, and that is 37 years, so what can he do with his life at 54? The church too is going through a lot of trauma, so we need everybody’s prayers for us to put this incident behind us.

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Life DramaReport

LIFE DRAMA: “We birthed triplets while Tropical Storm Ana was ripping away parts of the roof” – Nurse

“On the night the storm hit, we assisted a mother as she gave birth to triplets, while the health centre was flooding and intense wind was ripping away parts of the roof. The situation was scary but we were very lucky. The mother and her three babies survived,” said Filomena Aibo Joao, a nurse at Alto Benfica Health Centre in Mocuba District.

Tropical Storm Ana made landfall in Angoche district, in the coastal province of Nampula on 24 January. Then it tracked westwards towards Zambezia and Tete provinces, causing flooding, severe damage to public infrastructure and homes, as well as interruption of basic services. The storm has caused widespread damage in Zambezia, Nampula and Tete provinces, and to a lesser extent Sofala, Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces.

“My house collapsed on top of me after I managed to take my children out,” said 48-year-old Florinda Culosa, from Mocuba District of Zambezia. Florinda had taken shelter in the house she shared with her six children and two grandchildren, and she was injured when it fell in on her.

“I feel very sad about losing my house. Now I am asking for support so that we can move forward with our lives.”

I feel very sad about losing my house.

Lives, homes and health centres destroyed

UNFPA Mozambique is supporting the Mozambican Government’s efforts to assist affected populations in multiple provinces, including Zambezia, where more than 58,000 people were affected, 52 were injured, almost 3000 houses were destroyed and 17 health centres were damaged (INGD, 31 January).

UNFPA joined the recently established Provincial Multisectoral Needs Assessment Team (composed of provincial authorities and humanitarian partners) on a mission to the Namungaine Community in the Mugeba neighborhood of Mocuba district where, according to the Medical Chief of the District, Dr. Leonodo Janeiro, 17 families lost their homes and three people were injured.

Of the total people affected by Tropical Storm Ana, this includes an estimated 34,000 women of reproductive age, and 4,000 pregnant women who need reproductive health services

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expressed concern about the storm’s impact and the limited resources available to respond to the needs of vulnerable populations, already affected by previous natural disasters and the conflict in the northern region. According to Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction (INGD), more than 141,000 people were affected (29,000 families), 220 people were injured and 25 people died (INGD, as of 31 January). Thirty health centres were also damaged. Continuing heavy rains have raised concerns for populations in low-lying areas.

Supporting the most vulnerable women and girls

Through humanitarian funding support, the UNFPA Mozambique country office is currently supporting the Government to strengthen sexual and reproductive health services and protection services for the most vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls of reproductive age. Of the total people affected by Tropical Storm Ana, this includes an estimated 34,000 women of reproductive age, and 4,000 pregnant women (Minimum Initial Services Package calculation) who need reproductive health services.

To enhance preparedness and response efforts, with a particular focus on the sexual and reproductive health needs of affected women and girls, UNFPA supported efforts to assess the stock of contraceptives and maternal health medicines in the Mocuba District medical warehouse, run by Zambezia Provincial Health Services (SPS) and Mozambique’s Central Medical Stores (CMAM). These contraceptives and medical commodities will be provided to the affected populations through mobile brigades established to provide sexual and reproductive health services in the most remote affected areas.

As part of UNFPA’s response in Tete Province, mobile clinics resumed their services in Doa district on 25 January, after the heavy rains receded, in order to ensure continuity of reproductive health services for populations affected by Ana. The mobile clinics, organized through the My Choice project with support from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Mozambique, aim to provide continuity of sexual and reproductive health and family planning services to communities that may be isolated due to the floods.

In collaboration with government partners, in the coming weeks UNFPA will provide several thousand dignity kits to vulnerable women and girls affected by the storm to support their menstrual hygiene, sanitary, and female dignity needs – with items including reusable menstrual pads and underwear – and to support protection and safety with whistles and flashlights to aid them at night, giving women like Florinda (and their daughters) one less thing to worry about.

Ensuring continuity of services

Several tents (24 square metres each) are being shipped this week, including to Zambezia, to be provided to damaged health centres to support continued service provision. Relief materials and support for staff involved in the response are being provided by the Government of Norway, the UNFPA Emergency Response Fund, and by the Government of Austria for assessments and related support in Nampula province.

UNFPA in Mozambique continues to pre-position reproductive health kits, tents, dignity kits, and other supplies, to respond rapidly during the cyclone season. This preparation is pertinent, as another tropical cyclone, Batsirai, has formed and may also affect Mozambique in the second week of February.

Scaling up support for the most vulnerable remains critical. For women like Florinda, increased access to health services through mobile clinics, and dignity supplies, will strengthen their autonomy and their ability to protect themselves.

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