Mozambique flooding: CAFOD pledges aid as floodwaters rise

Report
from Catholic Agency for Overseas Development
Published on 01 Feb 2013 View Original

CAFOD has pledged an immediate £50,000 to support the tens of thousands of Mozambicans stranded without food, water or shelter after floods swept through the south of the country, sparking a humanitarian crisis.

In some of the most serious flooding since the crisis of 2000, flood waters have left more than 70,000 people homeless, with more than 20 believed to have died.

"Residents of Chokwe town escaped the raging flow of the Limpopo River with what little they could carry," said Ann Bouckaert, CAFOD’s Head of Mozambique programmes. "We are extremely concerned about communities in the low-lying towns and villages in Gaza Province. CAFOD staff are working with our Church partners to respond urgently to this emerging crisis."

Regions of Southern Mozambique along the Limpopo, Olifant and Save Rivers have been hardest hit and our partner, Caritas Xaixai, is supporting flood affected people in and around Chokwe town. In the parishes of Macia and Chibuto, over 4,000 people are being given shelter and food.

In the provincial capital Xaixai, the rain water has flooded the sewage system and there is a risk of an outbreak of water-borne diseases.

CAFOD already has a rapid assessment team on the ground in Xaixai working with local communities to ensure that the most vulnerable people - women, children and the elderly - receive life-saving humanitarian aid.

Coastal Mozambique is home to nine international river basins, making it especially vulnerable to flooding. Although the rain has stopped in most areas, the risks of further flooding remains high as waters arrive from further inland.

We've been working in Mozambique since 1986 responding to emergencies and supporting people to rebuild their lives after the civil war. In 2000, CAFOD was one of the leading agencies to respond to the flood crisis which affected more than two million people and killed 800.