Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 13

Ref: OCHA/GVA-2000/0040
OCHA Situation Report No. 13
Mozambique - Floods
3 March 2000

Special Humanitarian Envoy

1. On 1 March, following a series of meetings with the Government, donors and UN agencies, Special Humanitarian Envoy undertook an aerial survey of the Limpopo estuary including a stopover in Chibuto where he met the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) managing rescue operation. Today, Special Humanitarian Envoy is visiting Beira (Sofala province) and undertaking an aerial survey of the Save River estuary.


2. The water level of the Limpopo river running through Gaza province is receding slowly upstream as the latest urge passes. This means that some parts of the roads will soon be accessible and can be used for delivery of aid. According to the Government and the SANDF, it appears that there are still a number of stranded people to be rescued from trees. It is reported that over 10,000 persons have been rescued so far. The South Africa General in charge of this rescue operation did not consider that additional helicopters were needed for operations in the area.

3. The level of the Save River (Inhambane, Sofala and Manica provinces) is slowly decreasing, while this will depend on approaching weather pattern including new cyclone Gloria. Initial estimates suggest that people be in need of shelter, blankets, cooking utensils and hurricane lamps. Separated children are another concern. The Government advises that those still stranded on roods are declining to leave expecting to be able to reoccupy their houses shortly as the floodwater recedes.


4. The main focus of the relief operations at present is to rescue marooned people and ensure the supply of food and medical requirements.

5. As for air rescue operations, the INGC and WFP have established a logistics coordination center with the UK DFID and have been managing logistics with the SANDF. A number of helicopters and aircraft have been provided mainly from the US and the UK in the last two days, which brings the total helicopters available to 29. The fixed wing fleet will almost double to 24. Given the forthcoming arrival of helicopters from Germany and Spain, on a preliminary basis, no further needs for helicopters and aircraft are expected unless there is a change of situation along the Zambezi River (Zambezia and Sofala province) and the Save River area. The further details of the transport assets will be made available Monday onwards, according to WFP.

6. 120 boats supplied by the UK and the Netherlands are arriving today and will be deployed to the Limpopo River. Those boats will be used for rescue and evacuation, delivery of humanitarian relief and training for local population in case the water level rise again.

Donor coordination

7. Donor/Agency co-ordination meeting was organised today by OCHA Geneva. Interventions and discussions of the various agenda items are summarised below:


1. Air logistics

A total of 53 aircraft are expected to be available by the weekend (between capacity already in-country and what is in the pipeline.) This includes helicopters (between 20 and 29 according to today's reports), as well as cargo and passenger fixed-wing aircraft.

A logistics cell has been established as part of the INGC/UNDAC Co-ordination Centre

WFP is also expecting 2 additional aircraft from a private company based in South Africa.

WFP is also in need of airlifts from Europe to Maputo. As regards airlift capacity within Africa, WFP may be able to use an aircraft based in Lokichokio (Kenya) for Operation Lifeline Sudan.

2. Boats

WFP estimates that between 350-400 boats are needed to cover rescue and assistance needs. Preference would be for heavy-duty boats rather than zodiacs. Issues still to be addressed are 1) how these boats will be operated; 2) finding communication means for the boat operators.

3. Contingency Planning

TRUCKS: WFP is exploring possibility of hiring truck fleet from South Africa within a week, should the water levels continue to decrease, as this would allow for more road transport

WFP is discussing with Government the use of the national railroad, portions of which are reportedly being reopened.


Providing 4 Super Puma helicopters for the rescue operation expected to arrive on Sunday, 5 March (by AN-124 aircraft)


Plan to station a military aircraft in Maputo with marine/rescue personnel

Providing 40 MTS of medical supplies, food, boats and tents

Has also provided US$ 1,150,000 to Government of Mozambique for leasing of helicopters


Has provided US$ 500,000 to WFP for air transport

Sending inflatable zodiac boats expected in-country on Saturday, 4 March

Providing 10 boat operators/instructors and 2 emergency logistics experts who will co-ordinate with the INGC/UN/WFP logistics cell


Co-operation and Development Group of the European Union meeting today and will meet again on 8 March to study findings of EU Commissioner Poul Nielsen's visit to Mozambique


Has offered the Government a Transall aircraft based in La Réunion to provide air logistics assistance as of Saturday, 4 March for one week (follows previous contribution of France of a Transall until 26 February)

Rerouting helicopter carrier "Jeanne d'Arc" to Maputo from which 2 Puma helicopters may be made available


Has provided CHF 500,000 to WFP for helicopters

Has also provided CHF 500,000 from its annual assistance budget for Mozambique to respond to the emergency

Has fixed its overall budget for relief and rehabilitation to Mozambique at CHF 10 million.


Estimates its total contributions so far at US$ 2.6 million


Has provided SK 5 million for WFP for air rescue operations

In total, has provided SK 15 million to WFP

SK 100 million has been released for immediate assistance from ongoing development programme


Planning to provide 3 Puma and 4 Bell helicopters, provided there is still a need


Providing US$ 5 million in assistance, respective amounts through UN/UNDP, NGOs and bilateral channels to be confirmed

Provided US$ 1 million to the Embassy of Italy in Maputo for emergency actions

Deputy Director of Co-operation expected in-country on Saturday, 4 March

United States

A Joint Task Force with helicopters boats and airlift capacity has been established in Maputo. The airlift will be operated through one C-130 operated by the Civil-Military Operations Centre (CMOC) now established on the seventh floor of the INGC building (one floor below the INGC/UNDAC Co-ordination Centre)

US has approved airlifting 40 MTS of high-protein biscuits for WFP

Informed that CMOC in Maputo is now taking requests for airlifts. These requests should be channelled through MCDU/OCHA in Geneva. OCHA will help prioritise these requests.


IFRC revised its regional Appeal on 2 March and is now appealing for CHF 11.3 million. Out of this total, CHF 2 million are appealed for Zimbabwe.

IFRC is basing a team out of Beira for assessment and operations in the newly affected areas.

IFRC made a request for trucks

Expecting to receive three aircraft provided by national societies with relief items

Is sending a team to assess transition needs

B. Water and Sanitation

UNICEF said all its requirements in the UN Appeal of 23 February have been met but pointed out that the target group has tripled since the inter-agency appeal was launched. UNICEF estimated a need for an additional 50 tons of chlorine.

WHO described the needs in the health sector due notably to the increase of waterborne diseases, as well as the lack of access to basic medical services and of reproductive health services. WHO said its was working in this sector with UNICEF and UNFPA, as well as the national authorities, and explained that the Ministry of Health, which was in charge of the overall co-ordination in this sector, was re-deploying staff from other provinces.

United Kingdom

Pointed out that the heavy supply ship, "Fort George" from the UK Navy was being brought in from the Gulf region with fresh water and fuel for helicopters on board. Arrival time was estimated to be in 8 days. The ship also could accommodate evacuated families.


Sending a mobile hospital with 42 medical staff to Maputo as well as relief supplies


Bringing in 5 MTS of water purification equipment for Action Contre la Faim and 2 MTS of plastic sheeting and tents, 3.3 MTS of medical supplies, as well as 2 MTS of food.


Informed that a joint water purification mission is planned by Austria, Germany and Switzerland.


From its logistics center in Nairobi, water purification units and water tanks could be made available. Germany inquired whether other donors were in a position to assist with the transport from Nairobi to Maputo.

C. Food

The WFP EMOP is for USD 4.2 million for 590,000 MTS of food for 110,000 persons. WFP is revising EMOP which is going to cover three months from 24 February until May. This revision is expected to be finalised in Rome today. WFP is also considering an EMOP which will go beyond May. 50 MT of high-energy biscuits are on the way to Maputo.


Has decided to allocate FIM 2 million for WFP's EMOP.


Said that due to floods, it appears that mines are moving to non-mined areas. When it comes to rehabilitation/reconstruction, the issue of mines needs to be taken into account.

D. Next Steps


Informed that a special emergency team comprised of UNDP Resident Representatives and UN Resident Co-ordinators (from Angola, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Botswana) to be led by the head of ERD NY will be dispatched to assess the situation and long-term needs and work out for future plans. In Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique, UNDP is placing officers in line ministries to assist them to cope with the increasing demands in translation, interpretation and administrative matters.


The Government of Japan is considering making additional contribution of US$ 1 million.

International Assistance

8. UNEP and UNCHS (Habitat) have dispatched a joint mission to Mozambique to evaluate the impact of the floods on the environmental and human settlements and make necessary recommendations on future steps to mitigate and prepare for flood events. The mission will be working closely with the UNDAC Team.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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: Mr. Klaus Wiersing/Ms. Yasuko Sawada, Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel: + +41 22 917 2270/41 22 917 1768

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

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