ATLANTA (March 14, 2000) -- As anxious
families throughout central and southern Mozambique begin making their
way home to survey the flood damage, the international relief and development
organization CARE is widening its scope of assistance. Expanding on its
current relief activities in Inhambane Province, CARE now is distributing
newly arrived supplies -- such as large-capacity water purifiers, blankets
and small, collapsible containers for transporting water -- to people throughout
the flood-ravaged province of Gaza in southern Mozambique.
"Hundreds of thousands of people -- many of them concentrated in Gaza -- remain in need of food, sanitation and shelter," explains Marge Tsitouris, director of CARE's emergency group. "In addition to distributing water purifiers, 5-gallon water containers and blankets in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency and the Canadian Red Cross, CARE will work with World Relief to provide shelter materials and grants to vulnerable families."
Meanwhile, with the recent reprieve from rain, the focus in the south-central province of Inhambane has shifted from search and rescue missions to the delivery of urgently needed food and plastic sheeting. CARE continues to manage emergency centers in the area and, weather permitting, soon will begin repairing damaged water systems and providing maintenance training and hygiene education.
CARE staff in Mozambique report that even cement homes in Inhambane look like they were struck by an earthquake -- either broken in the middle or leaning to one side because the force of the water wiped out their foundations. Traditional homes made of wood and reed also were destroyed, leaving hundreds of families without adequate shelter.
Also in Inhambane, CARE will be distributing seeds and tools so families whose crops were washed away by the heavy rains can begin replanting quick-yielding vegetable crops. CARE has a well-established presence in Inhambane, with projects concentrating on agricultural development and improved water and sanitation systems.
The rainy season hit Mozambique hard this year, unleashing torrential rains early in February followed by a cyclone and severe flooding. CARE is focusing its relief efforts in Govuro district and Nova Mambone in the south-central province of Inhambane along the Save River while expanding its relief and recovery efforts to include severely affected people in the province of Gaza.
CARE is one of the world's largest private international relief and development organizations, with projects in more than 60 countries. CARE began working in Mozambique in 1986 to help people affected by civil war. Since then, CARE has continued to distribute food and offer other emergency assistance. It has expanded its development work to include small economic activity development, agriculture and natural resources, and health and water.