Mozambique floods: Update 07 Mar 2000

As Mozambique's worst floods in living memory recede and survivors leave the trees and rooftops where they took shelter, WFP's humanitarian operation faces a new challenge: feeding hundreds of thousands of people left homeless.

Helicopters: 41
Total fixed wing aircraft : 15
Boats: 78 operating in Limpopo basin
Mobile Telecommunication Centers: 4


With search and rescue missions nearly complete, WFP, in coordination with the military, is now overseeing the distribution and delivery of food and other aid to 250,000 people in 65 reception centers.

Road transport along the country's main north-south highway and other secondary roads has been cut off at several points with bridges down and railways damaged. Until water levels fully recede and infrastructure can be repaired, WFP will have to depend on helicopters and boats to get food to the reception sites.

WFP is currently setting-up logistics bases in Maputo and Sofala. Squadrons of WFP-coordinated helicopters are flying food out of these centers to the flooded Limpopo valley in the south and, further north, the Save river valley. Until now, lack of communications systems has been a severe handicap in Mozambique

But WFP's technical experts arrived over the weekend to coordinate the setting-up of a telecom and IT network that will guarantee telephone and email systems for all UN staff working in the emergency.

Updates from the Field

March 7, 2000

Every day WFP is delivering approximately 100-125 metric tonnes of food aid to flood victims throughout Mozambique - enough to feed some 250,000 per day.

WFP has delivered 1,464 metric tons of food aid via air and truck since the beginning of the operation.
Light four by four vehicles are travelling from Macia to Palmeiras. WFP will open a sub-office in Macia on Wednesday.


Beira, Mozambique's second city is also WFP's logistics center for food aid operations in the Busi and Save river valleys in Sofala province

Numbers: WFP estimates 102,000 vulnerable people arre, scattered along the coast in districts of Machanga, Mambone and Busi . Machenga deemed worst affected district with 90+ percent affected of total population of 44,000

Relief Operation: WFP Buffalo aircraft is shuttling food (eight metric tons per flight) from Beira to Save airstrip where three helicopters are used to distribute aid to local camps.

Infrastructure Situation: local authorities have repaired the main highway connecting Save to Beira; WFP will send first 15 metric ton food trucks to Save on March 8 .

WFP Logistics:

Buffalo transport aircraft + 9 helicopters with 6 US MH-53's due to arrive this week.
Fleet of small/medium- sized boats for search and rescue.