Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 19

Ref: OCHA/GVA-2000/0058
OCHA Situation Report No. 19
Mozambique - Floods
20 March 2000


1. The daily situation report from the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) is now available on the OCHA Internet Website at: (Mozambique floods).

2. Over the weekend, the Messalo river (in the northern Cabo Delgado province), burst its banks due to the heavy rains flooding five districts (Palma, Nangade, Mueda, Mocimboa da Praia and Muidumbe) and cutting off the main road about 110 km from the Tanzanian border, according to the Government and the media (INGC Situation Report dated 17 March refers).

3. In Tete province, the Zambezi River is reported to be flooding the villages along its bank. In Inhambane province, the towns of Vilanculo and Inhassoro had been cut off as access roads were submerged, according to the media and INGC.

4. According to the South African Weather Bureau, the water levels of the Limpopo and Incomati rivers are expected to rise due to the rainfalls in South Africa.

5. No further details of the extent of the damage or the number of people affected due to the reported flooding over the weekend are available. The situation is precarious: showers and a slight increase of the water level of the rivers might cause flooding, as the ground has been totally saturated.

6. There is serious concern on the conditions of some small isolated groups of people who are not necessarily the displaced but are cut off from the outside world due to the inundated roads. On 19 March, the UNDAC team was informed by a helicopter pilot of one of the villages with 4,000 people which had received no food, no water and no medicine for five days. Helicopters still need to reach out those groups. The UN Joint Logistic Centre established within the INGC with support from WFP and UNICEF has been a focal point for arranging humanitarian assistance for the newly
discovered groups in need of assistance. Currently, some 463,000 persons (including the displaced and the people who have been isolated) have been receiving food assistance at some 121 locations identified by the Government.

7. The Mozambican Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that there would be another SADC Summit in South Africa on 24 March.

International assistance

8. Upon return of the Special Humanitarian Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, OCHA organized an information meeting in Geneva on 17 March. In his statement, the Special Humanitarian Envoy described the Governmental structure for management of the disasters and the cooperation of the international community. He noted the strong regional solidarity demonstrated at the SADC summit on 14 March. He further outlined the response of the United Nations system. The Special Humanitarian Envoy indicated the challenges ahead and future plans including the forthcoming issuance of a 'transitional' appeal.

9. Chargé d'Affairs of the Permanent Mission of Mozambique echoed the need for addressing further mid-term, long-term requirements, stating that the crisis was still very acute although major international media interest in the disaster was subsiding. He referred to the SADC summit on 14 March highlighting the need for a regional mechanism for disaster preparedness and management and for debt cancellation.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

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

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers (OCHA Disaster Response Branch): Ms. K. Toll-Velasquez /Ms. Y. Sawada, direct Tel. +41 -22 917 1107/ +41-22-917 1768

Press contact: Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53


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