Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 14

Ref: OCHA/GVA-2000/0043
OCHA Situation Report No. 14
Mozambique - Floods
6 March 2000


1. The water levels of the Incomati, Umbeluzi, and Limpopo Rivers (Maputo and Gaza provinces) have been decreasing, while the level of the Limpopo River is still high. The situation along the Limpopo River is the most critical, especially between Chibuto and Xai-Xai. Chokwe is still partially underwater and the area where the Olifantes River joins the Limpopo River is still severely flooded. WFP have been facilitating the road repairs between Maputo, Macia, Chokwe, and Magude, which will help transportation by road. Roads are expected to be reopened within the next 10 days.

2. The water levels of the Save River and Buzi River (Inhambane and Sofala provinces) have dropped significantly. Along the Save River, no search and rescue operation is required unless the water levels rise again. The most affected areas along those rivers are as follows: Machanga, Buzi, Xibabava, Nova Mambane in Sofala province, Massangena in Inhambane province.

3. In Beira (Sofala province), two UNDAC members have been assisting the National Institute for Disaster Management's provincial office in setting up a coordination center to coordinate assistance for the affected persons along the Save and the Buzi Rivers. Given the logistic facilities in Beira, from Beira, Inhambane and Gaza provinces are also serviced, in addition to Sofala province. At present, more than 250,000 displaced are estimated to be in accommodation centers in Maputo, Gaza, Sofala, Inhambane, and Manhica provinces.

4. More than 10,000 persons have been rescued so far. Focus now is more on water and sanitation, delivery of food, medical supplies and other non-food items rather than on search and rescue operations. Currently, 43 helicopters have been deployed and 120 inflatable boats have been used for the rescue operations and for the delivery of food.

5. As the water recedes, an increasing number of human corpses and dead animals are being discovered, which present an urgent health hazard, especially for people returning to the affected areas.

6. While tropical cyclone 'Gloria' has dropped in intensity, the weather forecast expects heavy rains in southern Mozambique on Tuesday and Wednesday. As rains in Zimbabwe persist, the situation along the Zambezi needs to be monitored.

International Assistance

7. 100 tons of aid is transported by boats, air and railway and distributed daily. Logistic matters are being managed by coordination centers in Maputo and Beira (para 3 refers) with support from the UK, the USA, South Africa, Malawi, France and Germany. Until water recedes substantially, it is critical to maintain the current level of air logistics for the next several weeks in order to ensure the distribution of assistance. This assistance also needs to reach out the displaced outside accommodation centers so as to avoid attracting larger populations to the centers, thereby increasing the already high health risks.


8. The following is a list of additional humanitarian needs resulting from the new floods, while quantification of the listed needs will need to await further work by each sector:


  • Capacity to assess and monitor health situation with the related logistics requirements in camps and returnee villages;
  • Capacity to undertake EPI campaigns;
  • Ensure availability of essential drugs and medical supplies including vaccines and vitamin A;
  • Taking preventing measures against malaria (such as spraying) and cholera;
  • Rehabilitate and re-equip health centers and posts as well as cold chains;
  • Develop epidemiological surveillance system;
  • Additional body bags.

Water and Sanitation

  • Ensure the availability of chlorine, disinfectant, bladders, pipes and tap sets and water purification equipment for camps;
  • Provide materials for the construction of latrines especially in camps;
  • Replace and repair boreholes, pumping distribution systems and drainage sewage systems;
  • Replace electricity generators;
  • Ensure availability of technical capacity to manage water and environmental sanitation in camps;
  • Undertake information campaigns on health risks in communities and camps.

Food aid

  • Funding is needed for the reimbursement of WFP food supplies already in the country and in the pipeline;
  • Need to provide high protein biscuits;
  • Need to purchase white maize and rice locally.

Shelter, accommodation centers and non-food items

  • Provide blankets, soap, cooking utensils, tents and plastic sheeting;
  • Develop and provide resettlement kits for returning families;
  • onsolidate information on the number of and needs at accommodation centres as well as the number of people in need of shelter;
  • Assist national and provincial authorities to plan, co-ordinate and implement activities in support of the eventual return and resettlement of affected families;


  • Undertake emergency repairs on the section Palmira - Xai-Xai of route N1;
  • Ensure availability of vehicles and office equipment to re-establish presence.


  • Rehabilitate schools;
  • Provide teaching and learning materials.


  • Funding is required for WFP's logistics operation;
  • Funding is also needed for UN in-country co-ordination.


Need to provide seeds and tools.


Need for assessment of possible environmental contamination around Chokwe.

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

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


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit