Botswana + 2 more

Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe: Flood Rehabilitation Appeal No. 04/2000 (rev. 3) Situation Report No. 10

Period covered: 25 April - 15 May
Revision No. 3 of Appeal 04/2000 consolidated the relief and rehabilitation phase of the operation, and sought CHF 19,470,410 in cash, kind, and services to assist 140,600 direct beneficiaries and 225,000 indirect beneficiaries for a period of 12 months. The total appeal budget was therefore increased to CHF 29,964,273.

Distributions planned in the emergency relief phase of the operation have, for the most part, been completed, and activities are now focused on working with the Mozambique Red Cross Society (MRCS) to carry out the procurement and distribution of reinstallation kits, as well as health water, and sanitation interventions. In Zimbabwe, the Federation is assisting the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society primarily with rehabilitation in the form of seeds, tools, water, and sanitation. Further support for the rehabilitation phase of the operation is needed to implement the full range of planned activities.

On April 28, a Partnership Meeting, initiated by the Mozambique Red Cross Society, took place in Geneva to reflect on the lessons learned from the relief emergency operation, to discuss the rehabilitation programme and strategies, and to share views on the collaboration efforts for the success of the programme as well as the long-term strategies.

The context

Cyclones Connie and Eline hit south-eastern Africa on 4-7 and 22-23 February respectively, producing heavy rains and strong winds throughout the region, causing overflowing rivers and pressure on dams, and resulting in widespread flooding in large areas of Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Latest figures reflect over 1,000 casualties from the cyclones and resulting floods, with more than two million people estimated to have been affected throughout the region. Main road and rail lines were severed, with widespread damage to other infrastructure, boreholes, wells, and piped water systems. Cultivated land was destroyed, causing fears that severe food shortages will occur in the longer term. In each of the affected countries, the Federation has coordinated the relief response with the respective National Societies, as well as with UN agencies and NGOs.

The International Federation's first priority in the affected countries focused on rescuing marooned people, then providing basic relief assistance. To respond to the disaster and to support the Mozambican Red Cross Society (MRCS or CVM) and the Botswana Red Cross (BRC), the Federation launched an appeal on February 11, and later extended it to Swaziland and Zimbabwe following an expansion of the affected area.

Initially, many of the flooded areas were difficult to reach, with air lifting of food and other required items the only viable way to reach victims. Health interventions focused on the danger of outbreaks cholera and malaria, as well as other water-borne diseases.

In Mozambique, the flooding also dislodged mines, increasing the danger to displaced and returning populations. As a result, de-mined areas may now be unsafe again, and dedicated mine awareness campaigns have been initiated and reinforced.

Responding to the immediate emergency needs provoked by flooding in Mozambique and Botswana, the International Federation launched Appeal 04/2000 on 11 February 2000 for CHF 2,800,000. In view of the evolving nature of the disaster, the appeal was revised on 25 February, 2000 with a particular focus on Swaziland, and reflecting a revised total budget of CHF 4,667,312. With the situation in the region continuing to worsen, the Federation adjusted to the operational needs by issuing revision no. 2 (including Zimbabwe) on 2 March, 2000, reflecting a total revised budget of CHF 11,346,464.

Based on a series of assessments, the Appeal revision no. 3 presented the rehabilitation needs in the four countries affected. The regional and country-specific capacity building components of the emergency appeal are complementary to the more detailed strategies presented in the Federation's Appeal 2000-2001; Building Capacities to Serve the Community.

Latest events

Mozambique

At the end of April and the beginning of May, internally displaced persons (IDP's) returned to their homes from the accommodation centres around the country or to government allocated plots of land. Aid agencies and the Government of Mozambique have focused on refining their assessments of need, particularly in the food sector and reaching the few communities in need who have not received assistance to date.

Agencies continue to repair roads and consider small boats as the alternate means of distribution. Many of the road routes into affected areas, although damaged, are now drying and are in the process of being repaired. The effects of the heavy rains of the last 4 days upon roads in low-lying areas have not been assessed. However, some marginal roads may once again be closed to heavy vehicles. A roads survey/monitoring service, to which the Red Cross contributes information, is being provided by WFP.

The appearance of a disease symptomatic of cholera in Buzi and Guaraguara has been assessed and tested negative for cholera but positive for malaria. The Ministry of Health, the Mozambique Red Cross Society (MRCS) and MERLIN continue to monitor the situation but see no reason for great concern at this stage.

WFP and its implementing partners have noted a dramatic increase in food beneficiary figures claimed by local authorities in flood/cyclone affected areas. WFP believes that the root cause is the pressure placed upon administrators and traditional chiefs from unaffected populations, to provide for all within their administrative domains. Supported by the National Disaster Institute (INGC), WFP and its partners have embarked upon a series of verification visits in order to realise a needs-driven distribution plan.

The April 28 Partnership Meeting in Geneva resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding initiated by the MRCS and proposed to all Participating National Societies, intended to facilitate the collaboration and co-operation among all parties involved in the rehabilitation programme in Mozambique.

On May 3 and 4, the Government of Mozambique and the United Nations organised a Conference of Development Partners to discuss the needs of the Mozambique Post-emergency Reconstruction Programme, with an amount of USD 450,000,000 pledged by donors. The Mozambique Red Cross actively participated in the meeting as well as the working group sessions.

Zimbabwe

After some weeks of provisions, the fuel crisis has appeared again in Harare where people have started to queue up for fuel, diesel and paraffin at filling stations.

There are no longer difficulties directly related to the floods, but there is evidence of a need to upgrade boreholes, wells and to reconstruct blair toilets. In all four affected provinces rehabilitation activities are now being carried out.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) participated in a meeting with District Administrators and Provincial Administrators from the affected provinces. The involvement of the Red Cross in the reconstruction phase indicates the proactive role the Society has played during the floods operation, the many local donations to the Society, and the launch of the floods rehabilitation appeal.

In Matebeleland South province (Selonga area and Plumtree district) there has been an outbreak of malaria, with some resulting deaths.

Red Cross/Red Crescent action

Mozambique

Reinstallation Kits

With all relief distributions for the emergency phase having been completed, preparations continued for the distribution of 10,000 family reinstallation kits (consisting of tarpaulins, kitchen sets, jerry cans, blankets, buckets, soap, mosquito nets, kangas, construction wire, nails, machetes, axes and hoes). Deliveries of outstanding items continued into the MRCS and Federation's Maputo warehouse, with all items expected to arrive by May 16.

Of this total, 3,000 kits will be distributed to families living in the central and northern provinces of Mozambique from the Federation's Beira sub-delegation. Transportation by air, using cargo space donated by WFP, continued from Maputo to Beira of reinstallation kit items and all goods are scheduled to be in the Beira warehouses ready for distribution by 14 May.

Mozambique Red Cross and Federation delegate relief staff were therefore busy completing outstanding assessments and finalising the compilation of distribution lists in Sofala, Gaza and Maputo provinces.

Rehabilitation of Health Facilities

Following extensive discussions with the Mozambique Government's Ministry of Health, including a meeting by the Head of Delegation with the Minister of Health on 10 May, an agreed list of flood-damaged health centres across the country which the Red Cross proposes to rehabilitate was completed. This list has been radically altered from the initial plans drawn up by the Federation and the Mozambique Red Cross for the Flood Rehabilitation Appeal of 10 April (Revision no. 3) due to changes in the Ministry of Health plans and priorities, other organisations took up these projects and the MRC further focused their strategic plans of action for institutional and programme development.

With one exception, these health facilities are the smallest (Category Three) centres, containing a number of rooms which can offer a range of primary health-care services. The Federation and Mozambique Red Cross, with the support of those PNS teams already in Mozambique who are interested in supporting the rehabilitation of health centres (along with officials from the Ministry of Health) will immediately begin detailed assessments of each of the identified facilities and the localised health needs. Revised budgets and plans of action will be produced for each project covering both the physical reconstruction of the health centre and the longer-term development of MRC Community Based First Aid, Disaster Preparedness and institutional capacity building programmes.

The Federation's water and sanitation field office in Macia was opened on 8 May and all preparations were completed, including the signing of contracts for geophysical surveys and borehole drilling, for the Federation's watsan programme in the Macia/Chokwe district, funded by the British and Austrian Red Cross Societies.

Botswana

The Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) conducted a one week brick forming work camp at Kgomodiashaba in the Kgatleng District. The objectives of the camp were to launch a reconstruction and rehabilitation project for floods victims, to provide Red Cross volunteers with a thorough understanding of disaster issues, to disseminate Red Cross information and to establish a Red Cross branch in the village concerned.

The Disaster and Youth Programme had mobilised 70 youth volunteers, including their patrons from 8 different schools. Some 2,500 bricks were formed during this first phase which will be followed by the construction of 20 standard houses in the village. The German Government has pledged support for the project.

The next work camp will take place in June in Sesung village in Kweneng District, involving Red Cross volunteers and community members of the area. It is intended that a Red Cross Branch will be established in the village.

The BRCS continues to receive generous donations in cash and kind from local benefactors who wish to support the assistance for flood victims.

Zimbabwe

Distributions in the four affected provinces continue, and further planning as well as implementation of the rehabilitation activities is taking place. The role of volunteers has now been reduced, but volunteers continue to monitor the situation and assist, especially in health related issues.

Matebeleland South Province

A satellite clinic has been set up at Selonga in a bid to curb for the spread of malaria. The satellite clinic has been equipped with the following items: stretcher beds, kitchen sets, blankets, jerry cans, soap, cups/plates, buckets and some food.

Distributions took place in the districts of Beitbridge, Insiza, Mtobo, Gwanda and Umzingwanwe. Food items were distributed to the most affected, as well as tents, kitchen sets, jerry cans, soap, clothes/shoes according to assessed needs in villages of the 5 districts.

The Red Cross in this province focuses on the provision of sanitary facilities, safe drinking water, and seed packs for the winter crops, as well as the resumption of supplementary feeding for the under fives and school going children.

Midlands Province

During this period, the Red Cross managed to hire a truck from a private individual, facilitating the distribution of goods to areas which had so far been impossible for the branch to reach. Distributions 4 were carried out in Mvuma (Tatonga ward) and Mberengwa (Mataga area) of either food items, blankets, kitchen utensils or clothes according to the specific needs.

The Red Cross continues to receive second hand clothes and medicine for the flood victims from local donors.

The plan for the next period is to distribute tents, kitchen sets, pots and jerry cans. A proposal of provisions to meet the shelter needs have been forwarded by the Ministry of Local Government, who requested the assistance and co-operation of the Red Cross.

Masvingo Province

The Provincial branch has received funds for maize seeds and other items which are currently being purchased as part of the rehabilitation assistance. The Red Cross further focuses on rehabilitation in the area of water and sanitation and is waiting to respond to an assessment carried out by the District Development Fund. Distributions of tents, containers and blankets were carried out in Chivi, Chiredzi, Gutu and Masvingo during this period.

Manicaland Province

Distributions have been completed in Chipinge, one of the two most affected areas of the province. The four villages of Masimbe, Gumira, Maronga and Chibuwe have been covered during this period and eight volunteers continue to follow-up activities in the district. Chimanimani is the next district where distributions are to be completed.

Swaziland

While there was a lack of relief supplies in country, the Baphalali Swaziland Red Cross Society, through its 120 disaster response team members who are evenly distributed in all the regions, began distributing relief materials sent from the Regional Delegation stock in Harare (tents, blankets, and maize and beans), with key contributions and support provided as well from the Swiss Red Cross.

The Swiss Red Cross also contributed funding used to procure 87 bags of maize, 20 bags of beans, 174 bars of soap and 600 blankets. The table below reflects items distributed to beneficiaries to date:


Commodity

Stock

Distributed

Balance
No. of beneficiaries
Blankets
3,000
1,453
1,547
2,906
Tarpaulins
2,000
162
1,838
1,172
Soap (40g)
2,080 (pieces)
2,080
-
6,240
Soap (85g)
1,500(pieces)
1,500
-
4,500

The balance of the blankets and tarpaulin will be maintained for future emergency needs.

Outstanding needs

Despite an initially positive response to the relief requirements of the operation, further resources (both cash and in-kind) are needed to implement the full range of rehabilitation activities foreseen in this phase of the operation.

External relations - Government/UN/NGOs/Media

Mozambique

Sofala, Manica and Inhambane Provinces

The Red Cross continues to attend all INGC co-ordination meetings and liaise with agencies working in and around the areas where the distribution of reinstallation kits is being planned and has also contributed information to the nutritional and food security survey of Action Contre La Faim

Zimbabwe

The ZRCS continues to liaise with authorities and other organisations at the local level to ensure a comprehensive intervention during the rehabilitation. The Society continues to receive positive attention and contributions from the public. The Red Cross rehabilitation appeal and operation was recently featured in one of the big national newspapers.

Peter Rees-Gildea
Director
Operations Funding and Reporting Department

Bekele Geleta
Director
Africa Department