The situation has deteriorated dramatically in the last few days, with severe flooding affecting communities most notably along the Limpopo and Save rivers. With flood waters still rising the possibility of many deaths is high. Thousands of people have already been displaced and are cut off from the outside world without access to food and shelter.
"300,000 people have been affected by the floods, with some 220,000 made homeless" says Concern Director, Jo Thomas. "Over 130,000 are believed to be children. The reported death toll to date stands at 50, but it is expected to rise as the floodwaters recede. The 5 main rivers in southern Mozambique have burst their banks, flooding extensive areas of farmland. Roads, bridges and homes have been washed away."
Emergency food aid is Concern's immediate priority. The distribution of rice, beans, oil and sugar will cover the immediate needs of 2,800 families in Maputo province, one of the worst affected areas. "We are also providing supplies of charcoal for cooking and hope to extend the distribution to the nearby province of Gaza".
Ministry of Health officials have also warned of an increasing incidence of malaria, diarrhea, scabies and conjunctivitis. Normal drug stocks are being depleted and delivery of new stock has proven difficult in more isolated areas. A Concern health expert is assessing the sanitation needs in camps in northern Maputo Province that house those displaced by the flooding.