An appeal for 2,500,000 Swiss francs has been launched by the International Federation after flash floods caused by three successive days of torrential rain have left more than 21 people dead and 200,000 homeless. The Federation has already released 100,000 Swiss francs from its emergency funds. The worst affected areas are in Maputo and Gaza Provinces, with many towns left without drinking water after pumps and purification plants were washed away. The Mozambiquan government, which has declared these areas a national disaster region, has asked for technical assistance from South Africa, which has also been badly hit by the floods. Mozambique Red Cross officials are working in collaboration with the government and other relief organisations to evacuate flood victims, provide food and shelter. The MRCS is also providing first-aid and carrying out public health education campaigns. With more heavy rainfall forecast, authorities are expecting cases of diarrhoea, cholera and malaria to rise dramatically. The MRCS is also working to provide clean drinking water for victims and a regional water sanitation delegate is now in the country. With more than 100,000 people homeless in Matola and nearly 100,000 in Maputo city, the immediate need is for shelter, blankets and clean water and sanitation facilities. The participation of the MRCS in the floods disaster came as the government in Maputo officially recognised the Mozambique Red Cross as a "collective person of public utility".
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