Humanitarian situation in Angola - reporting period: 1-15 Dec 2002

Situation Report
Originally published
Critical Issues
  • Humanitarian partners express concern over eventual consequences of heavy rainfall in Dombe Grande in Benguela Province.

  • Lack of access and limited demining resources prevent humanitarian agencies from extending activities in Huambo Province.

  • Humanitarian operations suspended due to mine infestation and road closures in Mavinga in Kuando Kubango Province.

  • Deteriorating road conditions hamper assistance to Ngangasol gathering area in Malanje Province.

  • More than 7,000 people are reportedly in critical need in four inaccessible locations in Moxico Province.
Provincial Update

Benguela Province: More than 20,000 residents in Dombe Grande may require food, essential drugs and materials for shelter in coming weeks due to heavy rainfall and flooding near the Coporolo River. Humanitarian partners have recommended the development of a contingency plan and pre-positioning of assistance in the area. During the second week of December, rainfall in Bocoio Municipality destroyed at least 239 hectares of vegetable crops.

INAROEE has conducted mine awareness campaigns in the gathering areas (GAs). Due to heavy rains and mine migration, an increase in mine incidents is expected in return areas.

Following a security assessment, Cubal do Lombo and Passe in Bocoio Municipality were opened for humanitarian operations. Agencies plan to provide food assistance to 2,165 IDPs in both locations and rehabilitate a health centre in Passe. Cubal do Lombo and Passe are return areas for IDPs and populations from GAs.

Non-food items, including kitchen kits, soap, plastic sheets, blankets and jerrycans for 2,800 returning families in Balombo, 2,050 families in Ganda and 2,000 families in Cubal arrived in the province during the reporting period. Partners have also received non-food items for 1,241 returning families in Catengue in Caimbambo Municipality and Atiopo in Cubal Municipality.

Three attacks by unidentified armed men against commercial vehicles occurred on the road between Bocoio and Balombo, resulting in two deaths and two wounded. Humanitarian partners use this road frequently to deliver relief items from the coast to Huambo and Bié Provinces and for health and nutrition activities in Balombo and food distribution in Ussoque.

Huambo Province: On 3 December, a mine incident at Etunda village on the road Huambo - Tchilembo resulted in three injuries. On 4 December, the road Calengue - Bailundo was closed to humanitarian activities due to suspected mine presence. Two recently broken bridges on the roads Huambo - Bailundo and Alto Hama - Bailundo are hampering access to Bailundo for heavy vehicles, making it impossible for partners to complete a seeds and tools distribution in Cululo and proceed with other activities in the north of the province, particularly health programs in Luvemba and Bimbe.

According to local authorities, more than 27,000 persons in Catata commune, including many returnees from Caála town and other provinces, lack humanitarian assistance.

Huíla Province: A security assessment was conducted in Vicungo commune in Kuvango Municipality on 11 December. During demining operations carried out recently at the Vicungo airstrip and in the village, no mines or UXO were found and partners have begun to use the 1,000 metre airstrip for light aircraft. Further mine assessments on the road between Kuvango and Vicungo have been recommended. On 10 December, a reported mine incident in the inaccessible Jamba Municipality resulted in three injuries.

Approximately 3,000 persons in Vicungo are in critical need of food, seeds and essential medicines. More than 640 people at Hoque camp are also in critical need of shelter, although some persons have spontaneously left for areas nearby the camp.

Kuando Kubango Province: Following a serious mine incident on 29 November in Cunjamba, north of Mavinga, humanitarian activities outside Mavinga town were suspended. The closure of roads due to mine infestation has raised concerns over the situation in Ndiema and Lomba Pontem, where more than 11,500 persons are concentrated. Populations lacking assistance are expected to enter Mavinga town seeking aid, further stretching the limited resources of the humanitarian community.

More than 210 persons are living in the transit centre in Menongue, including 12 persons who returned to the centre after being moved to Culuei where basic conditions were not in place.

Kuanza Sul Province: On 5 December, an anti-tank mine accident resulted in three deaths and one injury on the road Seles - Amboiva, 15 km from Seles town. Humanitarian assistance to 4,000 returning families in Amboiva commune, Seles Municipality, has been suspended.

Approximately 4,030 persons have spontaneously returned from Gabela to their areas of origin in Ebo Municipality. Partners have registered the return of 10,000 persons from Waku Kungo to Pambangala, Cassongue Municipality, and an additional 7,000 returnees are expected.

Lunda Sul Province: During the first week of December, partners distributed food to more than 1,810 persons, including old IDPs and returnees in Alto Chicapa, Cacolo Municipality. Partners also registered 1,740 new returnees from Sautar and Quirima, Malanje Province, and from areas inside Cacolo. Of the 1,740 new returnees, 705 persons received food assistance. The delivery of additional assistance may be hampered in coming months due to deteriorating conditions along the road to Alto Chicapa.

According to provincial authorities, 1,275 people requiring urgent humanitarian assistance are concentrated in Cassoa, Dala Municipality.

Malanje Province: According to provincial authorities, food assistance was transported by helicopter to the inaccessible Massango Municipality on 3 December. Approximately 8,000 people in critical need are located in the municipality. Malaria and respiratory infections were registered as the main cause of morbidity in six health posts operated by humanitarian partners in Caculama, Xandel, Catala, Cacuso, Cambondo do Kuije and Cambondo.

Deteriorating road conditions due to heavy rains are hampering the delivery of food assistance to Ngangasol GA. In Damba GA, partners completed a food distribution on 5 December for 8,130 people.

Mortality rates in Damba GA have increased due to malaria and acute respiratory infections.

Moxico Province: Reports indicate that 3,028 persons Lumbala Caquengue, 2,950 persons in Cangombe, 1,560 persons in Tembue and 390 persons in Cassamba are in critical need of humanitarian assistance. These locations remain inaccessible due to broken bridges over the Zambeze River and impassable roads.

During the first week of December, partners registered 556 people who spontaneously resettled in Lumbala Nguimbo, most of them returning from Zambia and the DRC. Following a needs assessment conducted during the last week of November, partners reported that returning refugee populations in areas in the eastern part of the municipality and north of the Zambeze River require food assistance. These populations have had few opportunities to plant during the current agricultural campaign.

OCHA Angola
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