Mozambique: Definitive Flood Appeal Next Week

Maputo, Mozambique (PANA) - The Mozambican government plans to launch a definitive emergency appeal to the international community next week, concerning the country's requirements to overcome the current crisis caused by massive flooding in the central and southern provinces.
According to Silvano Langa, director of the National Disaster Management Institute, cited in Wednesday's issue of the daily Noticias, the appeal document, which is being drawn up with donor assistance, should be ready by Monday.

The initial appeal for 2.7 million US dollars, launched last week, was only for the most pressing immediate requirements.

"We had to advance with basic things," Langa said. "We didn't have boats, tents and so on. We had to act so as not to allow the situation to deteriorate further. But we still didn't have information on the centre of the country, and the rains were continuing to fall."

There has been a fairly speedy donor response to the first appeal, and about two million dollars worth of aid has so far been pledged.

Thus an Italian plane is due to arrive in Maputo Thursday, carrying five rubber dinghies for the rescue operations, 65 tents to provide temporary accommodation for those who have lost their homes, and three generators to provide electricity in accommodation centres, among other materials.

France has also pledged to make boats and aircraft available for operations in the river valleys, and four South African helicopters are already working in the flood-stricken areas.

Langa said that the latest estimate for the number of people affected by the floods was 300,000, who would need emergency food aid for at least the next three months.

The World Food Programme now envisages that at least 5,000 tonnes of food must be urgently imported.

The forthcoming appeal must also deal with medical assistance, given the deteriorating health conditions in the current accommodation centres, and with the longer term question of resettling the flood victims.

Meanwhile, radio reports from the southern province of Gaza indicate that the flood on the Limpopo river has now inundated much of the city of Chokwe.

The administration has urged residents to seek refuge in the two Chokwe neighbourhoods that are on higher ground, and thus relatively safe.

Much of the Chokwe irrigation system, the largest in the country, has been swamped, and many of the roads in Chokwe district are impassable.

At the provincial capital, Xai-Xai, near the mouth of the Limpopo, the waters have risen well beyond flood alert level.

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