Mozambique

Mozambique: Flood report 06 Mar 2000

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News and Press Release
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JOHANNESBURG, 6 March (IRIN) - As flood relief efforts continued in Mozambique on Monday, the emphasis has gradually shifted from search and rescue to providing urgently needed food, water and medicine.
The current situation

The most critically affected areas continue to be those in the Limpopo, Save and Buzi river basins, according to the latest disaster assessment.

Latest figures provided by the Mozambican Government's disaster management authority, the Instituto Nacional de Gestao das Calamidades (INGC), said that in the Limpopo river basin there are over 110,000 displaced people with more than 700,000 having been affected. In the Save river basin there are 60,000 displaced with an estimated 200,000 affected and in the Buzi river basin there are nearly 41,000 displaced people, with nearly 200,000 affected.

The INGC said that some 473,000 people required food aid, with the remainder requiring "other forms of assistance".

The INGC said that boats were still "urgently needed" along the Save river and there was a "critical need" for more tents, blankets, cooking utensils and plastic sheeting.

Meanwhile, humanitarian organisations cited a need for more "coordination" between search and rescue efforts, particularly in the Save-Buzi area.

"The distribution of food aid and relief items must begin to be more coordinated and controlled," the INGC said.

Two staff members from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) have been sent to Beira to help strengthen the functioning of the INGC in the city.

Food

Brenda Barton, spokeswoman for the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) told IRIN on Monday that as of Sunday, 9,000 mt of food had been delivered to an estimated 250,000 people. She said that WFP would continue to pay for South African Defence Force (SANDF) operations in Mozambique.

WFP IS currently preparing a food aid distribution plan for about 650,000 people for up to six months.

The INGC said that information from the international aid agency, Concern, indicated that in Manica Province an estimated 15,000 people needed "emergency aid".

The INGC said that in the Limpopo river basin there were at present about 326,000 food aid beneficiaries, in the Save river basin about 45,000 and in the Buzi river basin 102,000.

WFP said that it had established two temporary camps at Bilene and Chiaguelene in Gaza Province to deal with the growing numbers of flood victims being transported to higher ground. It said 36,000 people were already receiving food and medical aid in these camps.

Agriculture

The UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said in a statement that "near-total crop losses were almost certain in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane". It said that serious crop losses were also expected in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala.

"Preliminary estimates from provincial authorities indicate that at least 150,000 hectares of food crops have been lost to the floods in the five affected provinces," the FAO said. The southern provinces account for an estimated 13 percent of the total cereal production. It added that 30 percent of the cattle in the three southern provinces had been lost.

The FAO said that there have also been reports from Maputo that the prices of food staples, such as maize, had "increased sharply".

Health

The INGC said the most common diseases in the reception centres were malaria and diarrhoea. It said that as of Friday last week, there were 31 reported cases of malaria in Maputo.

It said 1.55 mt of medicines had been delivered to Gaza Province, 3.5 mt to Inhambane and three cholera kits, enough to deal with 600 cases, to Sofala Province.

The INGC said that there were reports of a shortage of body bags.

It said a report by the Mozambican Red Cross indicated that in the Chiacalane in Gaza, there were between 200 and 300 new cases of malaria daily.

Weather

The INGC said that rain was expected from Maputo to Sofala Province. "The rain in the south will be brought by a cold front from the south, while a weakened "Gloria" (tropical depression) will bring low pressure and rain to the centre of the country," the INGC said.

Funds channelled directly to the government's INGC can be deposited in account number: 2025555151 Banco Commercial the Moçambique Maputo. Funds channelled through OCHA should be transferred to account no. CO-590.160.1. Swift code: SBCOCHGG12A at the UBS AG, P.O. Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, with reference: OCHA - Mozambique - Floods.

[ENDS]

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