Madagascar + 1 more

Mozambique floods: Update 15 Mar 2000 (and Madagascar)

As water-levels continue to recede after the worst flood in Mozambique's recorded history, WFP is expanding its emergency operations to cover rehabilitation.

In the short-term, WFP must provide food aid for some 365,000 people who lost their homes in the floods and are sheltering in 96 makeshift transit camps of all sizes, spread across the Limpopo and Save river valleys. The largest camp at Chiqualene holds 57,000 internally displaced persons.

WFP's 20 food aid monitors, already in Mozambique to oversee development projects prior to the floods, have been re-deployed and are co-ordinating distribution of emergency food rations.


When the rainy season ends in late March / early April, flood victims are expected to leave the camps and head back to their towns and villages. WFP food aid will be used to facilitate their return.

To help Mozambique kick-start its local economy, WFP will pay workers with food to resurrect their shattered communities. Projects will include the reconstruction of schools and shops, the rebuilding of railways and roads and, most importantly, the planting of new crops.


WFP has launched a fresh international appeal for US$34 million to finance emergency food rations as well as the cost of food-for-work projects. The request raises the total funding required for Mozambique to US$ 45.2 million, enough to cover the food needs of 650,000 people until a second harvest due in mid-August.

The new appeal includes US$5.3 million to guarantee the continued use of South African National Defense Force helicopters for food aid transport as well the rehabilitation of key roads and railways.

Updates from the Field

March 15, 2000

WFP has delivered more than 2,335 tons of food nationwide since the beginning of its emergency operation using helicopters, aircraft, trucks and boats from the three main logistics bases in Maputo, Beira and Palmeiras.

UN damage assessment team, including WFP, WHO, UNICEF and MSF, flies to remote villages in the upper Limpopo river valley, cut-off since the start of the flooding.

According to Mozambican government, 329,224 displaced persons are now living in 97 temporary camps. 100,000 cooking utensils have arrived in Maputo for the camps.

WFP's vulnerability assessment and mapping unit VAM continues to make on-the-spot checks of flood affected areas to monitor food needs and distribution (Maps)

WFP is still concerned with sanitation in transit camps ill-equipped to deal with the large numbers of flood victims. Before the current emergency, Chiqualene, in the Limpopo valley, was a small village with a population of 4,000. Now, it is home to 57,000 internally displaced persons.


Vast stretches of Mozambique's main roads were washed away in the floods, with secondary roads submerged and an estimated 2,500 kilometers of tertiary roads damaged. WFP is working hand in hand with local authorities to get food aid back on the road:

WFP's special operation will pay for three road engineers for two months to renovate 1,050 km of highway in central and southern Mozambique.

WFP will pay workers with basic food supplies to fix roads.

WFP food trucks are now able to make the three hour journey from Palmeiras to temporary camps at Macia and Chiqualene.


Donations from international community: more than US$100 million since the beginning of the relief operation.

Helicopters and fixed wing aircraft: 59

Boats: 109 deployed throughout country

Total foreign aid workers: 2,400 (50 percent are military personnel)


WFP has started airlifting 400 tons of food aid to flood affected areas on the eastern coast. Towns badly hit by cyclones Eline and Gloria, and in need of assistance, include Mahanoro, Antalaha, Vatomandry and Belo-Tsiribihina.


February 17: Cyclone Eline hits the east coast, ripping across the country some 80 kilometers north of Antananarivo. Damage assessments estimated that the storm affected 61,355 people, causing 64 deaths and leaving 10,000 people homeless. 1,500 people are currently living in makeshift shelters. Floodwaters and landslides cause widespread damage to infrastructure.

March 1-5: the Tropical Storm Gloria also crosses Madgascar, following the same path as Eline. Heavy rains exacerbate flooding.

March 8: WFP announces plans to provide 25 tons of emergency food rations (rice, beans and sugar) to 30,000 people in the badly-hit coastal town of Mahanoro. WFP will deliver 375 tons to other towns including Antalaha on the northeast coast, Vatomandry and the west coastal town of Belo-Tsiribihina. Preparations are also being made for a more extensive emergency operation that will reach 250,000 tons.

March 13: WFP charters two aircraft from government and starts airlifts to east and northeast coastal areas affected by the floods. Country food stocks include 650 tons of rice, 180 tons of maize, 180 tons of pulses and 100 tons of sugar.

March 14: WFP Buffalo aircraft (small twin-engined cargo plane) due to arrive in Antananarivo, the Agency's main transport centre for Madagascar.


Trevor Rowe
Office +39 06 6513 2602
Mobile +39 348 6099463

Francis Mwanza
Office +39 06 65132623

Jeffrey Rowland
Office +39 06 6513 2971

Mozambique Maputo:
Abigail Spring
Mobile + 258 82 316 644 Lindsey Davies
Mobile +258 82 316 642

Mozambique Beira:
Inyene Uyoden
Office +258 3 326203 / 301314

Christiane Berthiaume
Office +41 79 285 7304

Wagdi Othman
Office +261 20 2230 833 / 2278 589
Satellite +871 761 661 746

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