Mozambique

Mozambique covered in floodwaters and misery

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As water starts to recede, aid workers fight against hunger, disease
MAPUTO, Mozambique - With much of the southern Mozambique still under water, relief workers are bracing for the inevitable hunger and disease following three weeks of devastating floods in Mozambique. "All we could see from the air were the roof of the soccer stadium and church steeples," said World Vision's Steve Matthews, who spent Friday in aircraft shuttling relief supplies to people isolated by floods. "Over the past two weeks, we've delivered 23 tons of food -- a drop in the bucket. Mozambique will need massive amounts of assistance to recover from this catastrophe."

Some 1 million people - of a total population of 19 million - are homeless. Officially, the death toll from the floods alone is in the hundreds, but will probably be much higher once the waters recede.

"Now hunger is the big problem, as people are cut off from aid," Matthews said. "The water has washed away crops, roads - everything." Relief workers also are very concerned about malaria, cholera, diarrhea and other waterborne diseases.