Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 17

Situation Report
Originally published

Ref: OCHA/GVA-2000/0052
OCHA Situation Report No. 17
Mozambique - Floods
14 March 2000


1. In the Limpopo Valley, a decrease in the water level has been registered in Combumune, Chókwè, Sicacate and Xai-Xai. At Magude, the level of the Incomati River dropped. However, this trend is expected to change in the coming days due to the rains in South Africa during the weekend. The water levels of Save and Buzi Rivers continue to drop, while a state of maximum alert has been declared along the Pungue River and River Licungo.

2. The rains on 9 and 10 March have caused further damage, particularly in the area of Bairro Polana Canico A (Maputo province). Here, a number of houses were washed away. Between Vilankulos and Inhassoro, in particular in Vulanjane, of the Natinoal Road 1 was flooded due to the rains. During the weekend, the Infulene-Liberdade road was not passable.

3. More rains are predicted for this week. However, that rain is expected in the northern provinces, outside the area affected by the floods. The rains will shift slightly southwards today (14 March). There are now 55 aircraft (40 helicopters and 15 aeroplanes) currently working for the relief operation in Mozambique.

4. According to the Government latest official figures, 329,000 persons are displaced and have been accommodated in 97 centres. The death toll stands at 492. As of today, a total of 45,600 persons have been rescued since the beginning of February.

Report from the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) Coordination Center

5. The information below is based on the latest situation report provided by the INGC Coordination Center on the situation in specific locations and sectoral needs.

6. Food: Over the weekend, 415 tons of food was delivered to distribution points, out of which 100 tons was transported by road. WFP has approved the following operations in-country:

  • US$ 27 million for 53,000 tons of emergency food assistance for 650,000 people (until August 2000).
  • US$ 3 million to fund the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) helicopter operations (supporting food logistics capacity) until the end of March 2000.
  • US$ 4 million to fund emergency road rehabilitation programmes with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (MOP), National Director for Bridges and Roads (DNEP) and National Company for Construction and maintenance of Bridges and Roads (ECMEP) (until the end of April 2000).

WFP’s main priority is to encourage the gradual reduction of free food distribution in order to replace this with food-for-work schemes and supplementary feeding programmes. The food-for-work schemes will aim at supporting the rehabilitation and repair of essential infrastructure, such as secondary roads, canals, dykes, schools, and health posts.

7. Agriculture: An operational committee has been established within the National Early Warning System Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery. The committee is tasked to deal with monitoring and evaluating the situation, updating information on stocks, procurement of needed items, and distribution. This committee reports to the Emergency Committee within the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery, which in turn reports to the INGC. The priorities of this sector are to:

  • Map the affected districts and the NGOs working in these locations
  • Distribute seeds, tools, fertilisers and veterinary kits
  • Encourage a central procurement system by all NGOs and other agencies
  • Ensure a minimum quality of seed is being brought into the country

The distribution of seeds and tools has begun in the accommodation centres in Chibuto. There has been a discussion to link seeds/tools distribution with food distribution as seeds are in some cases being consumed.

8. Health: The Ministry of Health reported that the total number of cases of cholera between the end of January and 13 March is 1,811. So far, 11 deaths have been registered. The Mozambican Minister of Health visited Gaza and Maputo provinces together with the Ministers of Health from the neighbouring SADC countries (including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Botswana) to gain an understanding of the actual situation. Further medical supplies and medical teams will be sent from Maputo to the provinces. The main difficulty now is how to treat people who are returning to ‘unsafe’ locations. In the Tete and the Zambeze Valley (Northern provinces), Teams are being pre-positioned, in case of flooding in the areas.

Sofala Province

Machanga: The health posts at Chiluane, Machanga and Chinhaque have been damaged. There is no water supply in the district capital (Action Contre la Faim will disinfect and repair the existing pumps).

Buzi: Diarrhoea, malaria, conjunctivitis, and skin infections have been reported. 23 volunteers have been trained by the Mozambican Red Cross (CVM) in first aid.

Chibabava: The Magude administrative post was affected by Cyclone "Eline". Some equipment was damaged. CVM placed 7 volunteers in the district. Another 20 will be arriving soon.

9. Water/Sanitation: OXFAM have repaired a well in Chókwè town, bringing the total number of operational wells with clean water and hand pumps to 28 in Chókwè. Over the weekend, the group purchased water pumps, analysed water quality in various wells and examined the Provincial Government of Gaza’s report in order to determine what interventions could be made. The re-establishment of the water supply in the towns of Chókwè and Xai-Xai is the first priority for the week.

10. Shelter/Accommodation Centres/Non-Food Items: A severe shortage of tents has been observed. The shelter group has begun to examine how the displaced will be assisted once the emergency relief phase is over. At the moment, there are four identified options:

  • Distribution of an agreed amount of cash
  • Distribution of ‘reconstruction packets’ (including construction materials, tools, etc)
  • Establishment of a system of credit notes
  • A combination of the above.

The group will decide after an evaluation of the displaced population by interviewing local authorities and the people in close consultation with NGOs and donors.

Matola City (Maputo province)

The number of accommodation centres has been reduced from 24 to 13. These are concentrated in Matola sede (5), Machava (4), and Infulene (4). As of 7 March, 1,000 families had been transferred to the definitive relocation centre of Congolote. 50 families have already been allocated plots.

Cajú Site (Maputo City)

There are 627 people living here. They have adequate food supplies, access to running water, energy and a health centre. The most urgent needs are for disinfectant to clean the three latrines, fire wood, and large cooking pots.

11. Education: The Ministry of Education, supported by UNICEF, has completed an evaluation of the damage cause to education facilities in Maputo Province. A private company is currently carrying out a further assessment for Gaza province.

12. The following are the findings of the assessment done by the Provincial Health Director of Gaza province and UNICEF in Chacalane, Chókwè, Macia hospital and Chicumbane hospital in Gaza province:

Chacalane Camp

There are now 57,183 people in this camp. Three large water containers are supplying drinking water, and 355 latrines are in the process of being built. A health post with 12 national health workers is operating in the camp, and a fully equipped hospital camp is in the process of being set up by a team of Spanish doctors.

The main needs are for:

  • 12 tents for health post activities
  • Jerry-cans, plastic sheeting, kitchen utensils, soap and hand tools
  • 10 loudspeakers for information dissemination
  • Co-ordination between the Spanish and the provincial health authorities


The latest figures indicate that there are 23,140 displaced in the area.

Displaced Population
3 Bairro A
3 Bairro B
Escola Agraria

Most of the equipment in the Chókwè Hospital, namely an X-ray machine, an operating theatre, and a generator, seems to have been destroyed. Médecins sans Frontieres (MSF) is running a tent health post in the town centre, and health treatment is also available at the Centro Carmelo (being run by nuns, with support from MSF). The nuns will begin distribution on BP5 biscuits once these arrive.

The main needs are for:

  • Reestablishment of the water supply
  • Environmental sanitation measures (such as the removal of dead bodies, solid waste, mud, etc). MSF-Swiss has been assisting with this, but further body bags are required.

Macia Hospital

All 100 beds are occupied, and additional patients are sleeping on the floor. Nine tents have been prepared to accommodate up to 45 TB patients. The hospital has water, electricity, and has received 23 additional staff. Health workers will begin to distribute BP5 biscuits once delivered.

The main needs are for:

  • 10 tents for extra health workers and patients
  • 40 reed mats
  • additional drug supplies
  • supplementary food for malnourished children
  • HIV-spot testing capacities and blood bag stock

The team also visited three centres in Macia town. These are accommodating a total of 37,464 people. There is a shortage of jerrycans, plastic sheeting, soap, hand tools, and kitchen utensils. An additional 13,654 displaced people are thought to have been integrated into host families.

Chicumbane Hospital

All 135 beds are full. There are 105 health workers. 35 TB patients have been registered, and an average of 60 paediatric cases of malaria is being registered per day (performing an average of 10 blood transfusions per day). The hospital’s water system is out of order, and water is being collected from a nearby well. There are approximately 2,000 displaced people in the area around the hospital.

The main needs are for:

  • Giemsa and immersion oil for malaria testing, and 20 pipettes
  • Improved HIV-spot testing capacity and blood bags
  • One or two water bladders (5,000m3 capacity)
  • Supplementary foods for malnourished children


The locality is only accessible by air. There are around 30,000 displaced people there, in addition to the 35,000 resident population. These people are in need of assistance (received 5 tons of food on 08/03/2000), in particular in relation to health facilities and medicines.


There are reportedly 7,000 displaced people within the urban centre, and an additional 33,000 displaced people in the outskirts. The hospital has been seriously damaged.

International Response

13. The United Nations Disaster Management Team has decided to update its Inter-Agency Appeal launched on 23 February. Assessments are ongoing in this respect, coordinated by the UNDAC Team. This Transitional Appeal is intended to fill a gap between the emergency phase and the rehabilitation/reconstruction phase, taking into account the requirements and assistance currently available since the second wave of flooding, as of 26-27 February. This forthcoming appeal will be a prepared in close consultation with the Government and will include references to the activities of NGOs and other partners in the relief effort. The appeal will reflect the overall strategy to be adopted, the needs, the linkages between sectors, the operational capacity in-country and the role of the United Nations.

14. In addition, a Reconstruction Conference is planned during the last week of April. UNDP is requested to serve as Secretariat. The first preparatory meeting was convened by the Minster of Foreign Affairs on 10 March. Representatives from the EU Commission, Japan, Portugal (as EU President), South Africa, the USA, the World Bank and UNDP attended the meeting together with Ministers from line ministries (Transports and Communication, Mineral Resources and Energy, Planning and Finance, and Tourism).

15. The UN Foundation has announced a USD 1 million contribution to be channelled through OCHA, for UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA programmes.

16. Information on contributions is often reaching OCHA from multiple sources. Therefore, in order to avoid duplications/omissions and subsequently to allow for accurate contribution tracking and coordination, donors are strongly urged to verify the contributions and inform OCHA Geneva of corrections/additions as required, using the form provided.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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 (OCHA Disaster Response Branch):Ms. K. Toll-Velasquez /Ms. Y. Sawada,
direct Tel. +41-22 917 1107/ +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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