Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 21

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 24 Mar 2000
Ref: OCHA/GVA-2000/66
OCHA Situation Report No. 21
Mozambique - Floods
24 March 2000

Situation

1. On 22 March, the Government urged people to evacuate from Chokwe and Xai-Xai as a contingency, fearing another flooding. The water level of the Limpopo river was reported to be increasing due to the heavy rains in South Africa and Zimbabwe and subsequent discharge from the Massingir dam.

2. The results of the reconnaissance flights conducted by the US military and aid agencies show that there was no sign of increase in the water level. No further flooding was observed along the Limpopo river. Nevertheless, warnings for Chokwe and Xai-Xai remain active and the Government has advised families not to go back to these areas.

3. The Pungue river in Sofala province has burst its banks causing localised flooding. No information on the number of affected people is available.

4. The Minister of Foreign Affairs reported today that on 23 March, a riot took place at the Chiyquelane displaced persons camp in Gaza province, leading to five deaths and ten persons injured. The Chiyquelane camp is reported by the Government to house a total of approximately 57,000 persons. It is one of the largest centres for displaced persons out of the total 101 centres in the flood-affected provinces, which house a total of more than 400,000 persons. The cause of the riot was reported to be an unplanned and unforeseen food distribution. The Government said it was investigating the case.

International Appeal

5. WFP has advised that it has revised its appeal for air operations to cover relief transportation for the month of April to USD 8.5 million from the USD 10.9 million indicated in the International Appeal launched on 22 March (referred to as Phase II in the appeal). OCHA was also informed that this amount would cover rental of eight M1-8 helicopters for cargo
transportation and six smaller helicopters for assessment for 4 weeks. It is critical for WFP, as the lead agency in logistics, to immediately secure funding for the helicopter operations after the departure of military teams, which is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Donor meeting

6. OCHA convened a donor information meeting on Mozambique today, 24 March, in order to follow up on the International Appeal and share the latest update from Mozambique. The Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator and Director of OCHA Geneva chaired the meeting as the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Humanitarian Envoy.

7. The Government and the UN agencies are discouraging people from returning to the areas with high flood risks, as a premature return might cause another catastrophe. He emphasised the importance in funding the updated international appeal and made a particular mention of the urgency of finding resources to ensure that there are sufficient helicopters in-country to continue the emergency assistance operation. He stressed the linkage between this transitional appeal and the forthcoming Reconstruction Conference in Rome (Italy) planned in late April. He assured that OCHA would continue addressing coordination in Mozambique until the end of the transitional phase (by the end of August) and announced that an OCHA Disaster Management Expert was taking up his functions today in Maputo in support of the United Nations Resident Coordinator. Updates on the neighbouring countries, i.e. Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Botswana were also provided.

8. The Chargé d'Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Mozambique in Geneva, Mr. Salvador Namburete, pointed to the continuing rain and flood risks in the northern provinces, as well as in Maputo, Gaza and Sofala provinces and stated that authorities also were alerting of a possible cholera outbreak. He thanked the donor community for its support to Mozambique

9. The UN agencies also expressed gratitude for the generous contributions received from donors. At the same time, they urged Governments to consider funding outstanding requirements in all sectors, as described in the international appeal.

Coordination

10. OCHA continues to assist the Government's coordination structure as part of the disaster response efforts provided by the United Nations. This includes the continued OCHA presence in Mozambique to strengthen the active involvement of UN agencies in coordination, under the lead of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in close cooperation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC). It should be noted that UN support to coordination is aimed both at the central and provincial levels. In this regard, it should be noted that NGO liaison officers have been placed both in Maputo and in Beira.

11. The United Nations is also working with the INGC to strengthen management of Government warehouses in Maputo, including distribution from the warehouses. Logistical coordination for non-food items is addressed in Maputo through a coordination expert working with UNDP and UNICEF.

12. The OCHA Disaster Management Expert scheduled to arrive in Mozambique today will work closely with the UNDAC Team Leader until the end of the month and is expected to ensure follow-up of the international appeal and continued OCHA support to coordination in Mozambique for the duration of the appeal (until end of August).

13. The two OCHA information management experts who have been developing a database for the INGC to track humanitarian items, including donations, stocks, and deliveries, will conclude their assignment by the end of the month at the completion of a training programme for the INGC staff to ensure continued management of the database.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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 (http://www.reliefweb.int). 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.

18. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at: http://www.reliefweb.int.

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

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

Desk Officers (OCHA Disaster Response Branch): Mr. K. Wiersing /Ms. Y. Sawada, direct Tel. +41 22 917 2270/ +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:
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