Analysis of potential host families’ response after natural disaster in Mozambique: Namacurra and Maganja da Costa Field Report


Executive Summary

This report presents the observation and findings from the field study carried out by the Consultant team in August/September 2013 to collect information about host families’ arrangements might have happened during last natural disasters and the impact on Humanitarian response. The field team consisted of two persons: Mr Andrea Lorenzetti, an architect with international expertise on emergency shelter and Mrs Josefina do Livramento Mocambique, a Mozambican citizen with sociological background and good knowledge of the context of Zambezia Province. As per TOR, this study was conducted in Namacurra and in Maganja da Costa, two Districts of Zambezia Province. In addition, a short visit (a day trip) in Gaza Province was carried out by the team to complement the identified hosting practices in a rural context with examples of hosting in a semi-urban context such as Macia town. In the section 4.5 the findings from Zambezia are compared with Gaza.

During the disaster response the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) is the focal point for coordination and information-sharing mechanisms, including with international partners and with civil society organisations. Many of the Humanitarian Actors were conscious that a percentage of affected population were sheltered by hosting families but neither particular aid support, targeting hosting families was discussed at Coordination meetings nor implemented.

The main findings from this study show that:

  • Remote rural areas of Zambezia, hit by a natural disaster such as last floods in January 2013, remain isolated for several days and most of the population needs to be rescued by helicopter or by boat from the affected areas. During these first days the whole community is affected and involved in mutual support, such as hosting affected families in houses, which weren’t touched by the floods.

  • However most of the affected families were sheltered inside the community buildings (schools, churches and mosques) existing in the no flooded part of the village. Those who weren’t able to find place inside those buildings, found a temporary shelter in the veranda of surrounding houses.

  • These three different types of shelter arrangements spontaneously happened within the same community and no cases of affected families being hosted by families belonging to a different community have been identified in the Districts of Namacurra and Maganja da Costa.

  • No specific support was provided to both hosted and hosting families (solidarity family) during the emergency. Assistance to affected population was centralised by INGC and provided at the arranged Collective centres only.

  • Lack of food, adequate shelter for all the family members and need of basic items forced the affected families to move out the villages towards the collective centre. No choices for them to cope with disaster. There is agreement among the interviewed people that being hosted at their own village instead of moving to the collective centres present many advantages in terms of livelihoods recovery, security and psychological wellbeing. Staying at their own communities allow the families to start recovering farming in the no flooded lands as well as to look after their properties.

  • The workshops conducted in the two Districts were an opportunity for the local institutions, traditional leaders and members of the Local Disaster Risk Management Committee to be aware about hosting as a spontaneous practice, which should be improved, and to recognise such arrangements as a cost-effective shelter solution in the aftermath of floods.

  • Different hosting practices were observed during the visit of the team in Gaza Province and they refer to an urban context. In January 2013, the town of Chokwe was flooded after the Limpopo River burst its banks and the whole population was evacuated to the near town of Macia, where the INGC organised Collective Centres to assist the displaced families. Hosting arrangements were identified among families living in Macia and it was reported that several families hosted their relatives/friends during three months of emergency at their place just for solidarity.