Mozambique and Zimbabwe: Floods Rehabilitation Appeal No. 04/2000 Situation Report No. 14

Originally published

Period covered: October - 15 December 2000
Focus on Mozambique

The strategic direction and programming outlined in the revised appeal of July 2000 for Mozambique has proved to be exactly in tune with the future direction of the Mozambique Red Cross (CVM or MRCS), though greatly optimistic in terms of how much could be implemented during the current year. The National Society, Federation and PNS now expect full implementation of the appeal to carry over well into 2001, and this has been integrated by the Federation in the preparation of its Country Assistance Strategy appeal document for 2001-2002. With sufficient funding and other donor support, it is expected that the Mozambique Red Cross can establish health (including ARCHI and HIV/AIDS), water and sanitation, and disaster preparedness programming that will make a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable people in Mozambique and at the same time develop institutionally the capacity to sustain these programmes in the long run.

The context

The record-breaking rainfall which hit Mozambique from December 1999 onwards, exacerbated by the devastating effects of Cyclone Eline in February 2000, led to three of the country’s major river basins suffering the most extensive flooding in fifty years. Approximately 1.2 million people, 27% of Mozambique’s population were affected by the flooding.

From the earliest days of the crisis, the Mozambique Red Cross, supported by the International Federation’s delegation in Maputo, was involved in rescue and relief activities, health education, water and sanitation, and fundraising. In late June and early July the relief phase of the CVM and the Federation operation ended with the distribution of ‘reinstallation kits’ to over 10,000 families. The focus of the International Federation and CVM then turned to the substantial rehabilitation and development needs which still existed in Mozambique. The Fourth Revised Emergency Appeal of 17 July 2000 therefore established a comprehensive programme strategy for the National Society, supported by the International Federation and including the PNS bilateral programmes, for the following 18 months until the end of 2001. It concentrated on two areas: firstly, the rehabilitation of local health, water and sanitation facilities affected by the flooding; and secondly, on increasing the future capacity of the most vulnerable communities nationwide through community-based first aid and disaster preparedness and response programmes, anchored in the development of stronger National Society branches and district and provincial organizational structures.

Latest events

Increased political tension between the Government and the Renamo opposition party affected the country in November, leading to demonstrations and some violence. While efforts have been made to calm the situation, as anticipated the devastating floods experienced earlier this year have had negative effects on the economy. Thus GDP growth has been less than 4 percent in contrast to 10% previously. The agricultural growth rate this year has been 2.8%, in contrast to 9% in 1999.

With the return of the rains new outbreaks of cholera have occurred. According to the most recent Ministry of Health statistics, Niassa was affected for the first time during the second half of September with 11 suspected cases. By 10 December there had been 27 cases there, including 5 deaths. In Gaza cases surged once again during the second week of October (37 cases) with another minor rise in November. The City of Maputo has also experienced a slight rise during November. However, during the first week of December 182 cases had been admitted to hospital in the capital.

Red Cross/Red Crescent action

The Mozambique delegation has aligned its own role in conformity with the new direction of the International Federation by providing the strategic framework for the Movement’s external support to the National Society; coordinating, facilitating and supporting this assistance; and implementing programmes itself only when it was best placed to do so. This has proved to be a considerable challenge, given the wide range of Participating National Society’s (PNSs) programming and the presence of six PNS implementing delegations or country representatives in Mozambique. Nevertheless, with the MRCS, the Federation has established and run co-ordination fora at the Head of Delegation and technical specialization level; set with the National Society a series of minimum standards in the programme management and training spheres; and ensured that programme delivery standards are uniform and consistent in their application and scope.

Since the beginning of October 2000, the following results have been achieved by the Federation and the PNS’s in-country delegations.

Institutional Development

The Mozambique Red Cross hosted the biannual SAPRCS meeting on 16-17 October for secretary generals and presidents from the 10 ONS in the southern African region, PNS representatives, delegates from the Mozambique and Regional delegations, and the Director of the Federation’s Africa department and the desk officer from Geneva.

The next day, 18 October, the MRCS held a partnership meeting and presented the MRCS’ achievements in 2000, the draft strategy for 2001-2003, MRCS programmes for 2001-02, and the conclusions of the general audit carried out in February-March 2000. The secretary general of the MRCS also participated in a meeting in Maputo on 19 October on the new regional pilot projects in Bangkok, Budapest and Harare.

Prior to this series of meetings the Mozambique delegation held a one-day workshop to discuss the role of the delegation and how best to provide added value. Delegation inputs were requested by the MRCS for all of the October meetings, as was also the case with a series of meetings at the MRCS training centre in Chimoio, i.e. the annual meeting of the Central Committee held 1-2 December (governance), the branch development workshop led there by the Federation and resulting in an action plan for follow up at all levels of the organization (3-5 December), and a national meeting for branch secretaries and administrators on 7 December (financial management training). The MRCS also requested ID input (core LFA features) from the Federation for the national workshop for health technicians in Maputo 11-15 December.

The MRCS strategy 2001-2003 was approved by the Central Committee, but the Executive Council delayed approval of structural reform of the national society. The organigram is still pending and confirmation is expected in early 2001.

Development delegates and MRCS ID/RD staff carried out joint field visits to Inhambane, Tete and Zambezia provinces.

The following new delegates arrived in Mozambique over the last couple of months to strengthen support to the MRCS: in November the new DPP delegate, the health coordinator and a field delegate (health, Tete), and in December the head of the sub delegation in Sofala and a construction delegate who will be supporting the central provinces of Sofala, Tete and Manica. The water and sanitation delegate, who used to work in Gaza, has been transferred to Manica province. A new delegate who will be supporting a new cross border project covering Manicaland (Zimbabwe) and Manica (Mozambique) has arrived in the region. This means that planned interventions supported by Austrian, Netherlands, and Canadian Red Cross will commence implementation.

Water and Sanitation Programmes

The Federation’s water and sanitation project in southern Gaza province is being phased out. After the water and sanitation delegate’s transfer the water and sanitation coordinator has been supporting the MRCS’ taking over of responsibilities at headquarters and branch levels. Project targets have been fully achieved regarding new bore holes (58), apron rehabilitation (87 = 116%), hand pump rehabilitation (91 = 121%), construction of communal latrines (31) and family latrines (1,086). Completion is still pending regarding shallow wells, soak pits and the training of water maintenance groups.

The MRCS water and sanitation training has not progressed as anticipated. Planned pilot testing of the new curriculum in December has had to be postponed as a result of the American Red Cross community education officer’s having to leave before anticipated. A job description for an MRCS National Community Education Officer has been drafted by the water and sanitation coordinator for the MRCS to encourage progress in this field. A report on the Southern Gaza Water and Sanitation Project is available.

Water and sanitation coordination meetings are held regularly and are well attended by PNS delegates. The water and sanitation coordinator has also provided support to the national society and PNS during field visits to Tete, Zambezia and Maputo provinces.

Disaster Preparedness Programmes

With the arrival of the rainy season in November areas in Gaza (Xai Xai) and Maputo were once again inundated, underlining the need for the ongoing procurement of the Federation’s supplementary DPP Emergency Stock (4,000 family kits for disaster prone provinces). Procurement is ongoing and stocks will be transported immediately to district and provincial warehouses.

A first version of the MRCS Disaster Contingency Plan is being finalized. Apart from pre positioning of the mentioned stocks for 4,000 families, the plan contains guidelines on storage and use. Secondly, it comprises the setting up of a countrywide telecommunications system. The Federation is eager to support this infrastructure and a British Red Cross delegate will arrive to install the countrywide communication system as soon as delivery dates can be anticipated based on the MRCS’ forwarding a list of needs and quotations. Basic DPP training is given priority in the plan, and the first group of 20 volunteers from Maputo City will be trained as trainers on 20-22 December. Different kinds of DPP training, including needs analysis, will be provided for different MRCS target groups.


The Mozambique delegation logistics department has been assisting the MRCS with the setting up of a tender committee, the selection of a new warehouse in Maputo, and distribution of DPP stocks and 10 donated containers.

Current transport constraints experienced by the Mozambique delegation are expected to be alleviated by the arrival of 6 leased land cruisers in January 2001.

Participating National Societies

German Red Cross (GRC) - Gaza Province

Since the beginning of October German Red Cross support has accomplished the following:

  • Water trucking continued during November in Xai Xai to avoid a cholera epidemic. It is anticipated that water trucking will continue throughout December as well.
  • Water problems continue at the hospital in Canicado due to low pressure. The government expects to rehabilitate the town’s water system during the first quarter of 2001.
  • An interim report on Manjange Health Center, April 2000 - December 2000, has been issued by the GRC. The current tented health centre is an interim one. A storm on 14 November collapsed some of the tents. Construction of the new centre started in September and is expected to be completed in 9 months. 10 of the health centre staff are MRCS volunteers. Health care is provided for 14 communities in the area.
  • Continued training of health volunteers took place in Guija district 13-24 November.
  • Income generation projects are ongoing and support has been sought from the Federation and the CVM on future development in this area.
  • In December a desk officer from the Swiss Red Cross visited Mozambique to identify support areas one of which will be collaboration with German Red Cross and the MRCS in Gaza province.

American Red Cross - Maputo Province

Core areas of collaboration between the American Red Cross and the MRCS have been

  • Community health education carried out by an MRCS theatre group in Maputo province, with performances for approximately 4,000 beneficiaries in 40 communities in October.
  • Additional borehole operations commenced. By the end of 2000 provision of 151 potable water sources benefiting 75,000 people is expected.
  • Initial steps towards rehabilitation of small water systems have taken place with the MRCS’ signing of contracts for Namaacha, Goba and Marracuene. The Mozambique delegation water and sanitation coordinator visited Ressano Garcia to assist with the needs assessment and prioritization.
  • Also, the MRCS and the ARC drilled the second borehole for Khangolote resettlement area in October and initiated work on the second windmill in November.
  • Latrines construction for Khangolote and Magoanine resettlement areas has been affected by the contractor’s poor performance. Alternatives are being sought.
  • A LIFE team visited the MRCS to discuss AIDS plans. An ARC HQ representative, and health personnel from the Federation (Geneva) and Maputo participated in the discussions, the outcome of which was the first steps towards outlining a detailed intervention plan within the ARCHI framework.

Spanish Red Cross - Gaza, Maputo City and Province

The major achievements of Spanish Red Cross within the framework of the Floods Appeal during the final quarter are:

  • The Spanish Red Cross water purification units are to become part of the MRCS disaster preparedness stock. Training of water technicians is pending and requires involvement of the MRCS water and sanitation coordinator. Six of the units have been working in Chokwe and Xai Xai since the floods and are still required in view of the threat of a cholera epidemic.
  • Water and sanitation work is on going in Catembe, across the bay from Maputo. Beneficiaries are involved in the construction of new housing. 65 of the 185 dwellings will be ready by the end of 2000. A health post manned by MRCS volunteers has been opened.
  • Construction of 82 houses with latrines has finishes in Xinavane. Similarly 84 in Magude. In addition to this assistance (tools and construction materials) is being provided to resettlement in hard to reach Calanga.

Danish Red Cross - Inhambane Province

Danish Red Cross have now closed down their delegation in Vilanculos. It is expected that a pilot DPP project (Community Based Disaster Preparedness in Mozambique) will start up in the new year. Resettlement (approximately 650) and malaria prevention (5,000) kits have been distributed, and the volunteer training programme was concluded. Unfortunately quotations for rehabilitation of the Chacane Health Centre proved that additional funding would be required. The Italian Red Cross, who are supporting Zambezia province as well, will be assisting with this. Financial constraints have also affected the construction of MRCS first aid posts and district offices.

Outstanding needs

The Federation delegation in Mozambique urgently requires resources, not only for the disaster preparedness programme, but equally for the Federation’s general programme management, health, and ID/RD programmes.

The Federation continues to request support for the additional procurement of disaster preparedness supplies ahead of the second half of the rainy season in the first quarter of 2001.


See Annex 1 for details.

Bekele Geleta

Africa Department

Peter Rees-Gildea
Head ai
Relationship Management Department

This and other reports on Federation operations are available on the Federation’s website: