Mozambique Floods - Situation Report No. 2

Ref: DHAGVA - 97/0082

28 FEBRUARY 1997

1. Current situation

Present tendency is for water to recede. There has been no rain for four days in the provinces of Sofala and Tete, while some rains have been recorded in Zambezia. People are still being rescued in Zambezia as helicopters begun operating in that area only recently. An air-bridge to Sofala has provided 14 MT of relief food. The number of those most affected, requiring priority assistance, is 11, 300 in Tete and 15,000 in Sofala. Assessment of number of affected in Manica and Zambezia will be completed next week.

2. Government Appeal

On 24 February 1997 the Government of Mozambique launched an appeal, valued at USD 30 million, covering short and medium-term needs for repairing structural damages and meeting the requirements of the population living in the floods affected regions. The appeal was issued at a meeting of donors in Maputo to which the UN system was represented.

The appeal identifies some 300,000 people in need of assistance in the flooded provinces of Zambezia, Tete, Manica and Sofala. Also included in this number are the Mozambicans from Tete and Zambezia who have crossed into Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Requirements, as indicated by the Government, include food, medicine, seeds, and funds for transport of emergency items and rehabilitation of roads and bridges.

The appeal indicates that a FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment mission would be scheduled in April 1997 to re-assess the situation and to better define the medium- term needs and the potential longer-term crop and food supply availability.

3. UN Response

The United Nations in Maputo, in order to respond adequately to the consequences of the floods, established a technical group (consisting of FAO, DHA, UNICEF, WHO and UNDP) which analyzed the requirement by sector and formulated a comprehensive strategy to address the more pressing needs of those most at risk.

With reference to health, the technical group considered that the floods might be expected to provoke significant increases in malaria, cholera and diarrheic diseases. WHO is working closely with Ministry of Health and is coordinating activities with UNICEF in preventing possible epidemics. The Ministry convened a meeting of donors on 26 February 1997 to present the needs of the sector.

UNICEF has planned and/or already started the following interventions:

$10,000 to DPCCN for assessment
$20,000 for epidemiological surveillance
$30,000 Cholera preparation (kits) and therapy
$50,000 Malaria control (mainly spraying)
$20,000 rehabilitation of buildings/Zambezia
$10-15,000 emergency school kits for restarting school activities.

WFP is providing assistance to 51,500 beneficiaries within existing emergency programme. The programme can increase to 100,000 beneficiaries, if necessary, which will imply a budget of approx. USD 1,700,000. Priority areas of food needs are presently covered through joint action by WFP, GTZ and other NGOs. WFP considers the food situation presently under control. However, the exact numbers of beneficiaries and resources required will have to wait until the FAO/WFP crop assessment mission in April. WFP is also scheduling a sectorial meeting with food aid donors.

FAO estimates that in total 100,000 hectares have been flooded in the four provinces; however, not all flooded areas are cultivated. In the agricultural sector, needs are probably closer to somewhere between 1000 to 2000 tonnes of seed to cover immediate requirements and to provide assistance for second seeding season. Seeds will need to be distributed as soon as possible, as planting can only continue until April. Joint FAO/WFP food assessment mission to take place in April will provide a more reliable estimate of seed requirements.

A UN/Donor meeting is scheduled next week in Maputo to assess the situation and possible outstanding requirements in light of resources available in-country.

For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform DHA Geneva, as indicated below, of bilateral relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item.

Telephone number: +41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: +41-22-917-2010
Desk Officer: Mr. Thomas Peter, direct tel: +41-22-917-3143
Press to contact: Ms. M. Moulin-Acevedo, direct tel: +41- 22-917-2856
Telex: 41 42 42 dha ch
Fax: +41-22-917-0023