Humanitarian situation in Angola - reporting period: 16-30 Nov 2002

Situation Report
Originally published
Critical Issues
Humanitarian agencies remain concerned over gaps in assistance to returning populations in inaccessible areas in Bié Province.

The humanitarian situation in Sambo Gathering Area is reportedly worsening due to lack of access to the southeast region of Huambo Province.

More than 8,000 returnees may be cut off from humanitarian assistance due to deteriorating road conditions in Kuanza Norte Province.

A measles outbreak in the inaccessible Quirima Municipality causes 17 deaths in one month in Malanje Province.

Angolan refugees continue to return from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia without adequate reception conditions in Moxico Province.

Provincial Update

Bengo Province: Populations in Nambuangongo Municipality are in critical need of food and health interventions and non-food items. Partners are unable to provide assistance due to poor road conditions. More than 1,900 IDPs from Cambambe II IDP camp in Caxito and from Kuanza Norte Province have returned to their areas of origin in Quibaxe, Bula Atumba and Ucua. Humanitarian partners have completed registration for assistance in Quesso, Piri and Quibaxe and food is currently being distributed in Pango Aluquem.

Benguela Province: Approximately 70,000 IDPs who spontaneously returned from Dombe Grande and Cubal town to Yambala and Capupa communes in Cubal Municipality lack food and health assistance. Partners have distributed agricultural inputs for 289 families in Yambala and 161 families in Capupa.

During the reporting period, partners completed food distributions to 15,816 families for November and December to the five GAs in the province. According to provincial authorities, 75 persons from the Cafima GA in Cunene Province arrived in Benguela in transit to their areas of origin. Partners continue to carry out reunification programs in the five GAs for separated children and adults.

Bié Province: Partners remain concerned about gaps in assistance in some inaccessible locations where populations are returning. Approximately 5,000 persons have already returned to Cangote and Cutato communes in Chinguar Municipality. These locations are still inaccessible pending the results of a security assessment conducted in the second week of November. According to municipal authorities in Nharea and partners operating in Gamba I and II Gathering Areas (GA), four persons died of malnutrition in S=E3o Bento and Bela Vista. Returning IDPs are also in critical condition in Sande, Caiuera and Chiuca communes in Catabola Municipality.

The number of registered IDPs in Kuito town has decreased to 40,017. More than 106,500 IDPs have returned to their areas of origin, including 48,412 spontaneous returnees. Demobilised soldiers and their families are arriving from other provinces without resettlement kits and are temporarily living in the Cunje transit centre. Most of them plan to move to areas inaccessible to humanitarian agencies.

Gathering areas in the province lack sufficient essential drugs, particularly for treating malaria. Approximately 500 families living in villages surrounding Ndele GA rely on the area=B4s health post for basic health assistance.

The launching of new humanitarian operations in Mumbue, Soma Kwanza and Mutumbo in Chitembo Municipality has been delayed due to worsening road conditions.

Huambo Province: Provincial authorities report that the humanitarian situation in the Sambo GA and Sambo and Hungulu communes is worsening due to lack of access by humanitarian partners following a mine incident on 14 November that killed seven persons. Access to the Tchiteta GA and the communes of Luvemba, Huengue and Bimbe in the north of Huambo has been restricted to light vehicles following the collapse of the bridge over the Cusso River.

The nutritional situation in Caála and Bunjei is reportedly improving due to the return of IDPs to their areas of origin. Humanitarian agencies plan to close feeding centres in both locations if the trend continues and open centres nearer the return areas to address possible nutritional problems.

On 21 November, traditional authorities in Caála Municipality expressed their concern regarding the condition of more than 70,770 persons who have returned to the municipality from Cant=E3o Pahula and Cassoco and Huila, Benguela, Namibe and Bié Provinces.

Huíla Province: Approximately 640 people from Cafima GA in Cunene Province have arrived in a transit centre in Hoque where they are waiting for transportation to their areas of origin. Reports indicate that the conditions in the centre are inadequate. Partners are also concerned about the forthcoming movement of approximately 30,000 persons from the Galangue GA to locations with limited access in Chipindo, Cuvango, Caconda and Chicomba Municipalities.

Kuando Kubango Province: According to provincial authorities, an unspecified number of IDPs have moved from Nankova to Kuito Kuanavale and Savate. Authorities also report that 24,794 IDPs have resettled either spontaneously or with government assistance throughout the province. More than 140 persons remain at the transit centre in Menongue awaiting transportation to areas of origin.

Kuanza Norte Province: Logistical constraints continue to hamper operations in the province, particularly to assist more than 23,000 returnees. Approximately 8,000 returnees may become inaccessible to humanitarian agencies if a section of the road between Lucala and Samba Cajú, 15 km from Samba Cajú, is not immediately repaired. In addition, approximately 12,000 returnees in Banga Municipality and 5,000 returnees Ngonguembo Municipality remain inaccessible due to poor road conditions and a broken bridge over the Zenza River.

According to a screening carried out by partners in 40 villages, malnutrition rates in Samba Cajú Municipality have decreased from 18 percent to 5.3 percent. Although under-five mortality rates remain high, adult mortality rates have decreased from 3.6 per 10,000 persons per day to 1.3 per 10,000 persons per day. In addition, 3,207 returnees in Bindo in Ambaca Municipality are food insecure.

Provincial authorities provided shelter to more than 360 demobilised soldiers and their families at the Sassa resettlement area.

Kuanza Sul Province: Approximately 203 families in villages surrounding Amboiva town in Seles Municipality require urgent non-food assistance. Humanitarian partners are currently providing assistance after the closure of the GA on 12 November. During an assessment conducted by partners on 27 - 29 November, local health authorities reported 5 - 7 deaths per week in Mussende town, with malaria registered as the main cause. Health assistance and non-food items, including seeds and tools, are also urgently required.

According to the municipal administration of Mussende, approximately 17,000 persons have returned to their areas of origin from Calulo and Cacuso. An additional 25,000 IDPs are spontaneously returning from Cangandala, Malanje Province, although the broken bridge over the Kuanza River is hampering the return movement.

Lunda Sul Province: Following reports of another measles outbreak in Dala Municipality, a joint mission on 30 November concluded that cases of measles had been registered in remote locations where some children were not vaccinated during the last campaign. On 21 - 23 November, partners vaccinated 1,050 children between nine months and 15 years of age against measles in Alto Chicapa in Cacolo Municipality. Vitamin A was also provided to under-five children during the campaign.

More than 260 returnees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo were provided with humanitarian assistance upon their arrival in Saurimo.

Malanje Province: On 26 November, the administration of the inaccessible Quirima Municipality reported a measles outbreak with 17 deaths, primarily children, between 22 October and 23 November. On 28 November, provincial authorities sent a vaccination team to Quirima by helicopter. An emergency measles vaccination was also conducted in Luquembo and Kambunbi Katembo Municipalities during the second week of November, reaching 4,500 and 2,500 under 18 years, respectively.

During the reporting period, partners inaugurated three rehabilitated health posts in return areas in Caculama and Quela Municipalities. During an assessment mission in Quela, local authorities reported the spontaneous return of 7,930 people to their areas of origin. Partners have distributed seeds and tools to more than 1,000 families in the location and municipal authorities report that the health post is regularly supplied with essential drugs. The team also reported that some returnees are walking up to 18 km to receive health assistance in Quela.

Demining partners began to conduct mechanical demining operations on 22 November, following mine incidents on the Malanje - Cambondo road. Twenty-two anti-tank mines and six UXO were removed in the Kinguila area, six km east of Malanje town, where two mine incidents have occurred since 26 October.

Technical donors visited Malanje on 22 November to discuss the humanitarian situation with partners. During a field visit to the return site of Catala commune, the mission visited a rehabilitated health post and a food security project.

Moxico Province: Refugees returning from the DRC and Zambia continue to arrive via Luau and Cazombo. Provincial authorities reported the spontaneous return of 8,193 returning refugees to their areas of origin throughout the province during November. More than 30,000 former refugees have returned to their areas of origin.

In Luau, 297 persons from the Calala GA were resettled without any assistance during the third week of November The local administration expects the arrival of 2,489 more persons in coming weeks. Authorities have requested partners to provide shelter, food and non-food item support. According to the provincial government, 2,378 persons from Calala GA have already been transported to their areas of origin, including 406 within Moxico Province and 1,972 to other provinces.

During November, partners distributed blankets, resettlement kits and jerrycans to 1,500 families in Lumbala Nguimbo and 1,200 families in Cangamba. In Lumbala Nguimbo, a hand pump for 50 families was rehabilitated and a water tank near a protected spring was built.

Demining partners removed 16 mortar bombs and three mines in Sacassange, Muque and Samauto. Partners are concerned about a minefield in Luena that continues to cause causalities on a regular basis, particularly in the vicinity of Canhengue, where persons gather firewood for charcoal.

Uíge Province: Numerous locations have become isolated due to poor road conditions. Furthermore, fourteen containers of commodities and non-food items purchased by partners for gathering area populations remain in Luanda due to limited access. Food stocks in the province are reportedly insufficient to meet the needs of the populations.

The former Kituma IDP camp in Uíge City has become overcrowded with people from GAs in other provinces awaiting transportation to their areas of origin. Due to a delay in the provision of resettlement kits and other benefits, the former soldiers and their families wish to remain in Kituma. Local authorities reported that 241 persons have been transported from Uamba GA to Kuanza Norte and Bengo Provinces and 110 persons were transported to Kituma camp. Partners have provided tents and latrine covers in Kituma camp to complement government efforts.

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