Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 11

Mozambique - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 11
1 March 2000

The Assistant Emergency Relief Co-ordinator has been sent to Mozambique as Special Humanitarian Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, arriving Maputo today.

Special Humanitarian Envoy

1. The UN Secretary-General appointed the Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator and Director of OCHA Geneva as his Special Humanitarian Envoy to reinforce the UN's efforts to respond to the flood disaster in close cooperation with the Government, donors and NGOs. The Special Humanitarian Envoy of the UN Secretary-General is expected to arrive in Maputo today. The UN Secretary-General also authorized the release of resources from the Central Emergency Revolving Fund to reinforce the UN's ongoing efforts to deliver relief and assistance to the flood victims in Mozambique.


2. The water level of the Incomati River (Maputo province) and the Save River (Inhambane province) has been decreasing. However, the water level of the Save River is still 0.5 m above a critical level and all low-lying areas along the Save River are totally flooded. Preliminary reports suggested that 60,000 people living along the river have been affected. In Inhambane province, roads in Funhalouro and Manote districts have been cut off.

3. In Gaza province, along the Limpopo river, over the last weekend (26 and 27 February), a two-meter wave passed through the town of Chokwe. The situation in the Limpopo Valley remains hazardous and the water level at Xai-Xai is above critical level. The water level is increasing and another wave of floodwater is expected to pass through major towns along the river either tonight or tomorrow.

4. In Sofala province, the situation in the Buzi basin is becoming critical as discharges from the Chicamaba dam along the Buzi River and heavy rainfalls in Zimbabwe and Mozambique have been increasing the water level of the river.

5. In Manica, Sofala and Zambezia provinces, the Pungoe and Zambeze rivers show no signs of flooding. However, depending on the level of the overflowing from Kariba dam in Zimbabwe, the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique would have to increase its discharging level, which may cause flooding downstream, especially Chinde (Zambezia province).

6. The reconnaissance flight by the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) confirmed that the worst hit areas are around Chokwe and Canicado (Gaza province). The National Institute for Disaster Management identified the following as critical areas: In Gaza province, Chibuto, Guija and Xai-Xai; in Inhambane province, Govuro; in Sofala province, Machanga, Machaze and Massangena.

7. The first priority, to rescue marooned people, remains the same. Currently the SANDF has been operating in the Limpopo river, while the provincial INGC offices in Beira have been working with the support of the 2 Malawian helicopters in the Save region. 2 Oryx helicopters, one Cassa 212 and one Caravan 218 have arrived from South Africa. The Mozambican Marine Services are also working to rescue people by boat along the Limpopo and the Save rivers.

8. Fuel, tents, plastic sheeting, blankets, cooking utensils, water tanks, water taps and pipes are in need for the newly rescued.

International Response

9. OCHA convened the information meeting on Mozambique on 29 February inviting the diplomatic missions in Geneva, UN agencies and NGOs. The Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator opened the meeting and the Chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Mozambique presented the Government's assessment of the situation and shared the requirements for relief and rehabilitation. The UNDAC Team leader from the first mission gave a briefing on the situation. The International Appeal for Emergency Relief and Initial Rehabilitation prepared and launched by the Government and the UN agencies on 23 February was shared with the participants. The following contributions were pledged/announced during the meeting (approximate value in USD):

Canada: USD 700,000

Finland: USD 50,000

Italy: USD 5,000,000

Japan: USD 100,000

Mauritius: USD 110,000

Norway: USD 1,000,000

The Netherlands: USD 3,250,000

Portugal: USD 2,150,000

Sweden: USD 1,000,000

UNFPA: USD 80,000

UNDP: USD 100,000

TOTAL: USD 13,540,000

10. In addition, in-kind contributions were announced by Mauritius, Portugal and the United States among others. The above contributions, subject to verification, have been made in response to the appeal for USD 65.5 million launched by the Government of Mozambique. At this stage, it is unclear which portion of the US 13.5 million announced during the meeting will be channeled through the UN system and in direct response to the UN inter-agency appeal. Most donors have not yet specified the channel/earmarking and OCHA is in the process of clarifying this with the donors. As of today, the following contributions have been confirmed as to be in response to the UN inter-agency appeal:

Sweden: USD 1,000,000

Canada: USD 272,000

Norway: USD 700,000

The Netherlands: USD 750,000

TOTAL: USD 2,722,000

11. The Governments of Italy and Norway made in-kind contributions of plastic rolls, pneumatic boats, emergency health kits, water tanks and tents valued at USD 257,000 through the OCHA Pisa Warehouse. The items will be loaded on 1 March and will be arriving in Beira, Mozambique on 2 March.

12. The United States Government has airlifted plastic sheeting, blankets and jerrycans from Pisa. On 28 February, the same aircraft made available by US-OFDA loaded 14 MT of WFP high protein biscuits from the OCHA Pisa Warehouse and proceeded to Maputo and Beira.

13. The German Embassy in Maputo announced a contribution of USD 250,000 for financing air rescue operations.

14. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions for the immediate relief needs. Funds channelled through OCHA will be spent in co-ordination with the relevant organisations of the UN system and OCHA will provide written confirmation of their use. Funds should be transferred to OCHA Account No. CO-590.160.1 SWIFT-code UBSWCHZ12A - at the UBS AG, PO Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference: OCHA - Mozambique - Floods 2000.

15. For co-ordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, of relief missions, pledges or contributions and their corresponding value by item.

16. Any future updates on contributions to this disaster may be found by clicking on Financial Tracking at the top of the page for this disaster on the OCHA Internet Website ( Donors are requested to verify this table and inform OCHA Geneva of corrections/additions/values. Donors are encouraged to notify OCHA Geneva of their contributions to this disaster using the OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format, available electronically in the above mentioned Financial Tracking Website.

17. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at:

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: + 41 22 917 2010

Desk Officers: Ms. Yasuko Sawada, Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel: + 41 22 917 1768

Contact person for the media: Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct tel: +41-22-917-2653

Telex 41 42 42 ocha ch
Fax: + 41 22 917 0023


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