Madagascar + 1 more

Southern Africa: Floods report 22 March

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JOHANNESBURG, 22 March (IRIN) - As the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday launched an international appeal for US $102 million to finance the next phase of humanitarian relief operations in flood-hit Mozambique, the government warned of further flooding.
It said there could be further flooding in the Sofala and Gaza provinces because of swelling in the Limpopo and Buzi rivers following rains in South Africa and discharges from the Chicamba dam.

Meanwhile, relief agencies in the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar are stepping up relief efforts to get food to areas in the east coast of the country that were worst hit by cyclones Eline and Gloria. The agencies have also launched efforts to reach isolated populations elsewhere that are in need of emergency aid.

MADAGASCAR

WFP said it is presently concentrating food deliveries in a zone along the eastern coast, south of Vatomandry, where Cyclones Eline and Gloria hit the giant Indian Ocean island 400 km east off the coast of Mozambique.

Food aid

WFP said it had delivered a total of 187 mt of food by the weekend, which included rice, pulses and sugar. It said of this total, 152 mt was transported by air to the northeast, southeast and the east of the country, while 35 mt was moved by road to the east of the flood-damaged island.

It added that as of Monday, the agency started transporting food to the Vatomandry area by road.

Logistics

The agency said it is using the French Air Force's Transall aircraft to deliver food aid in the Vatomandry area, while at the same a French helicopter is used to find pockets of isolated populations in need of aid.

It said the agency's Buffalo aircraft was deployed in Madagascar for a week before returning to Mozambique at the weekend. WFP added that it is appealing to donors for funds to cover the operations of two helicopters and a small passenger aircraft.

MOZAMBIQUE

OCHA on Wednesday said it had launched an international appeal for US $102 million to finance humanitarian relief operations in the country devastated by floods brought on by cyclones Eline and Gloria.

Rising water levels

The Mozambican disaster management team, Instituto Nacional Gestao de Calamidades (INGC) said on Tuesday that the water levels of Buzi river in the central Sofala province had risen sharply because of discharges from the Chicamba dam, threatening to further flood the province.

The government also warned that water was pouring down the Limpopo river from South Africa and could flood the Gaza province within the next 48 hours. The 15,000 Chokwe residents have been told to leave the town immediately.

"Chokwe could experience flooding of the same magnitude similar to that of last month," the head of the Gaza provincial flood commission reportedly said on Tuesday. Antonio Nguenha also said the new flood wave threatens to engulf the villages of Chilembene, Canicado and Aldeia de Barragem as well as the provincial capital Xai Xai further downstream.

Food aid

WFP said on Wednesday food distributions are now reaching 463,000 flood victims in 121 accommodation centres and villages in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala and Manica. "The numbers of affected persons is gradually increasing as more isolated and needy areas are identified," WFP said, adding that these are villages and sites that were not flooded but are completely cut off from markets and other basic services.

INGC reported that a total of 798 mt of food was delivered at the weekend, almost half of which was transported by road from Beira and the capital, Maputo. It said that an additional 190 mt of food was being loaded on to a British naval vessel for delivery to Save and Machanga, adding that more than 3,600 mt of food has been distributed since the emergency started in February.

The INGC added that food distributions to Zumbo in the Tete province on the border with Zambia and Zimbabwe were being made by road from Beira via Zimbabwe, with government boats helping to cross the river at Zumbo.

Agriculture

Plans to distribute 10,000 seed and tool kits in Chokwe are being made by the Lutheran World Federation once air transport has been secured to bring the kits from Harare in Zimbabwe, INGC said. It added that the distribution of these kits is to be coordinated at district level by emergency committees to ensure that seeds and tools are delivered simultaneously.

[ENDS]

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