Mozambique floods update 14 Jul 2000

Oxfam in Mozambique
Oxfam Great Britain has worked in Mozambique since 1984. Initially work focused on emergency relief projects in provinces affected by the civil war. Since the end of the war, Oxfam's programme has focused on rehabilitation work, such as rebuilding roads and bridges, and supplying seeds and tools to returning refugees.

Current development projects involve livelihoods working with people in Niassa in the north of Mozambique, supporting the advocacy work of local non-governmental organisations and building schools in the Gurue district of Zambezia, in collaboration with local governments and communities. Activities around education contribute to the Oxfam International Education Campaign, launched in March 1999, calling for quality basic education for all.


Oxfam sent an emergency assessment team to Mozambique in the first weeks of flooding in early February 2000, and an emergency response team plus equipment by the third week of February. Subsequently the situation deteriorated dramatically at the end of February, with a second wave of flooding caused by the cyclone rains. Several towns in the basins of the Limpopo, Save and Buzi rivers were inundated, causing the displacement of more than 200,000 people (522,476 people displaced or in cut off areas, according to UNICEF report, 3rd April) , with enormous loss of property, crops and livelihood. Oxfam focused its immediate relief efforts on providing water supplies, sanitation facilities and hygiene education to people in the largest accommodation centre in the country (Chiaquelane, near Chokwe), plus a certain amount of non-food items (sheeting, jerrycans, blankets etc.). Oxfam also procured six boats and deployed them in rescue operations in the flooded zones.


The Mozambique Government's recent requirement that all international staff must have work permits, following their re-classification of the floods response from emergency to rehabilitation, is causing problems for the Oxfam response. Urgent negotiations are taking place with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour to ensure Oxfam GB international staff continue to have legitimate approval to work in the Emergency Programme. Expatriate personnel will be suspended from working unless the situation can be urgently resolved.

Access is improving considerably with almost all towns now accessible, though sporadic rains continue to make access to some areas difficult.

The Oxfam team are continuing a watching brief on the situation in Zimbabwe, although the possibility of a refugee influx into Mozambique remains low. Contingency plans are in place with UNHCR and IFRC having been notified of Oxfam plans and capacity.

The final budget for spending Disasters Emergency Committee appeal income has been set at £5,712,000. Oxfam appeal income has been budgeted at £835,000. Oxfam's emergency response now includes a total of 25 projects, three of which were completed during the first phase of the IDP public health programme in Gaza.


3.1 Emergency Water and Sanitation, Hygiene Promotion - Gaza Province

Summary: The project aimed to reduce public health risks to 97,000 people in Chokwe District, particularly reducing the immediate threat of cholera. It was designed to fulfil immediate emergency needs. A reduction in public health risks was achieved through an extensive hygiene promotion programme, the construction of 3,050 shared household latrines, 330 latrines in public areas, temporary water supplies in 8 priority towns and villages in and surrounding Chokwe town, disinfection and chlorination of existing supplies, environmental clean-up, dewatering of inundated areas in Chokwe town and soap distribution. In addition the project included community oral rehydration points in affected areas and a full clean-up of Chaqualane camp prior to closure.

This programme has now been completed.

3.2 Family kits

Summary:The flooding caused loss of personal property as well as crops and shelter. This programme aims to distribute 10,000 family kits through local partner organisations following submission of proposals detailing targeting criteria, distribution methods and co-ordination to Oxfam GB. Proposals approved include FDC, AMDU (through Oxfam Belgium), Maleyeru (through Intermon) and ADS. Kit contents include stoves, fuel and cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery, blankets, capulanas, matches and paraffin lamps, basic provisions (sugar, salt etc), rope, soap and buckets.

The distribution of kits in Chokwe district by the Mozambican NGO, FDC (Fundacao de Desenvolvimento Comunitario) is nearing completion. A further 750 kits have been approved for distribution to communities in Chokwe district, bringing the total to 5,000. The final distributions were due for completion by 7th July. The protocol for evaluation of the work is being developed with FDC and is scheduled to take place during July.

Maleyeru (Intermon partner) have received the requested 400 kits for flood-affected families in Matatuine. Distributions started during the week beginning 3rd July. An additional distribution of 24 kits by Oxfam GB took place on 21st June to the disability group in Magoanine.

Discussions are taking place with AMDU (partner of Oxfam Belgium) to schedule transport and distribution of 800 kits to Govuru, Inhambane Province and Magoanine. CAA (Oxfam Australia) have submitted a proposal from the District Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development in Massinga, Inhambane Province for 118 kits.

Goal have also approached Oxfam for 2,000 kits for distributions to resettled populations from Maputo to Magoanine and Marrucuene. This has been reviewed and will be written into the final planning for assembly.

Final numbers of kits needed for affected teachers are being finalized with UNICEF. Arrangement have been made to transfer 2,500 kits for teachers in Inhambane, Manica and Maputo Provinces. Figures for Sofala remain to be finalised. Agreement has been made with UNICEF to increase the numbers available to reach all school staff in Gaza Province with UNICEF's Education Field Officer in Xai Xai and the Provincial Education Director. Additional school staff have already received kits in Xai Xai, Chibuto and Chokwe. The current estimated total number of kits for school staff stands at 4,300.

3.3 Nutrition Survey

The Ministry of Health survey of 10th June in Guija District (north bank of the Limpopo), has been completed and results received.

3.4 Food Security Programme

A. Distribution of seeds and tools in 5 flood affected provinces

Summary: Utilising UNAC's network of peasant co-operatives, to distribute seeds and tools kits composed of maize, beans, vegetables, hoes and machetes in 2 phases: the secondary planting season (May-July); and primary planting season in October and November to increase food security following the loss of harvest and seed stocks. To reach an estimated 40,000 households.

B. Recovery of poultry production

Summary: UGC, a member co-operative of the UGC umbrella organisation, supplies day old chicks to community co-operatives and individuals to produce chickens for the urban market. Individual and community production has been halted through destruction of UGC's production site. To re-establish the production of day old chicks and vet / marketing services to members. Members, mainly women headed households, dependant on chicken production for maintaining household economy. Will assist 5,000 households. Joint funded with Oxfam Canada and Intermon.

C. Distribution of improved varieties of Sweet Potato

Summary: Funding for a Research organisation developing methods to improve varieties of sweet potato (vitamin A rich and rapidly maturing) plus rapid multiplication methods. Sweet potato vines will undergo accelerated multiplication with high inputs on SARNET sites for distribution to flood affected families in Gaza and Maputo Provinces via local NGO agencies. Distributions in 2 phases. Aims to distribute material to a total of 90,000 households.

D. Distribution of vegetative planting material in 5 flood affected provinces

Summary: To source sweet potato, cassava, banana, sugar cane and pineapple from surplus areas for redistribution to farmers in deficit flood affected areas. Methods facilitate traditional mechanisms of community redistribution. To distribute to 20,000 households.

E. Distribution of seed kits and watering cans to flood affected families in Maputo Province.

Summary: To provide groundnut, pumpkin and vegetable seed for immediate planting to 1,550 families and maize for the September planting to facilitate the recovery of household food deficits. Watering cans will enable irrigation of crops in drought-prone areas. Hoes are being distributed through other funds.

Funding of the Novib/Kulima sweet potato distribution programme are pending further discussions with Novib concerning managaement resonsibilities.

UNAC (Oxfam Canada partner) is distributing seeds and tools to approximately 30 families who were not present during the first distribution in Maluana. In Marracuene District UNAC conducted a distribution of 5,095 tool kits between June 12-17 to communities on both sides of the river Incomati. A further 1,000 families will be reached by new distributions as soon as new distribution cards have been prepared. These distributions are planned to be finished during this week.

Once distributions in Maputo Province are complete, UNAC is planning a second phase of distributions, in Sofala and Manica, Inhambane Province, during August/September.

UGC poultry production rehabilitation has reached full activity with a total of 94 tons of primary material for feed production now purchased. 99,000 eggs have been procured from South Africa for incubation together with 7,000 breeder chickens. The production cycle for family co-operatives is now assured. Oxfam is to provide £56,000 to support UGC's agricultural recovery programme for co-operative members in Boukisso locality in response to a request from Matola Municipal Council for urgent assistance. It is planned to distribute seeds (maize, groundnut, bean, pumpkin and vegetable seed with watering cans to 1,550 flood affected households suffering major food deficit following the loss of potential harvest and seed reserves.

The SARRNET programme for multiplication of sweet potato is nearing completion of the first phase of intensive accelerated multiplication. Oxfam has facilitated an agreement with the Principal of the Agricultural school, Chokwe, to use 15 hectares of land for conventional multiplication. Additional funds will be made available to cultivate this land. The agricultural school (already part of Oxfam's school rehabilitation programme) will benefit through repair of a tractor and the irrigation system, students participating in agricultural practice with access to SARRNET and INIA specialists and the harvest of sweet potato tubers on completion of the programme.

3.5 Shelter Programme

Summary: A stand alone programme with CARE organising the logistics, purchase and transport of shelter materials (poles, corrugated iron sheets and wire) for distribution through World Relief's network of community activistas in Chokwe District. To reach 5,000 households (2,500 urban, 2,500 rural).

The second phase of distributions of shelter materials in Chokwe District, due to be completed in mid-July, continues.

3.6 Education Programme

A. Re-establishment of education in flood affected areas

Summary: To facilitate the re-establishment of education services and a sense of normalcy to children's lives by initially providing temporary classrooms (tents) followed by assisting communities to rebuild primary schools. The majority will be constructed from traditional materials with improvements made on original structures by providing corrugated iron roofing materials, latrines and blackboards). To assist the District Education Authorities in Chokwe by providing a computer to re-input education records. To provide resettlement kits to teachers and other school staff nationally through UNICEF. Aim0 - to assist approximately 12,500 school children, 200 teachers in 50 communities.

B. Contribution to resettlement programme, school building and vehicle

Summary: To assist AMDU in fulfilling objectives of establishing viable, productive communities in two designated re-settlement areas in zones not vulnerable to flooding in Maputo and Inhambane Provinces. Associated with the distribution of family kits (see section 7). Fund for purchase materials to build one 3-classroom primary school in Magaonine (Maputo Province) and assistance with general programme logistics through vehicle purchase in Inhambane). Population reach - 800 households.

Work has recently begun in two new schools : Muzumuia and Matuba. Both schools are building blocks of three classrooms using traditional materials, except for the tin sheet roofs. This brought the total to five schools which are in the process of being rehabilitated or re-built. Consultations with the Head Teachers of a further 4 schools are underway.

Liaison with the District Education Official remains very positive. The DEO has agreed in principle to visit a further number of schools to identify beneficiary schools for what might be termed the post-pilot phase of the Oxfam GB Chokwe Education Programme. It is hoped that the DEO will identify a further 10 to12 schools. Particular emphasis will be placed on community involvement in the rehabilitation process and the possibility of formalising a tendering process for the supply of materials.

3.7 Public Health Programme - Chokwe

3.7.1. Malaria Control Program

Summary: To manage the prevalence of malaria in communities vulnerable to intensified and prolonged malaria transmission following the widespread flooding. The project works in accordance with Ministry of Health policy and is targeting 125,000 people in 46 villages in rural Chokwe, with an emphasis on children under five and pregnant women. The project approach is based on the distribution of impregnated bednets and an increase in the capacity of communities to recognise, prevent, and treat malaria themselves.

Oxfam lobbied the Ministry of Health to revise their policy on malaria control to include urban net distribution and education. The urban project now has permission to implement and will target 2,500 families in Chokwe town. As with the rural project, the approach will be defined through a KAPB survey and will include training in impregnation of untreated nets.

Mosquito net distribution has been delayed until all the nets, posters and mending kits have arrived in Chokwe. The distribution is therefore set for 24th July. This will be timed with the completion of the third lesson on bed nets. The initial order for 50,000 mending kits has been increased to 60,000 to include the 10,000 nets donated by CONCERN.

The drama group received two days of lessons on malaria and have now developed plays based on stories from the five lessons which will be given to the villages. The plays tackle the subjects of selling of bed nets and using bed nets for fishing. They also encourage families to take their sick to hospital in favour of more traditional methods of treatment. Oxfam's drama group will visit food distribution sites within the next few weeks. A link will be made with WFP/GOAL to confirm distribution times and places. This aspect of the training is extremely important and re-affirms the messages from the lessons.

The re-treatment kits have now been ordered from South Africa. The kits will also contain an information leaflet on net treatment which will be developed separately. This leaflet will be based on the PSI/UNICEF treatment poster but will be printed in Xichangan.

A population census is planned to be carried out simultaneously with a latrine census by Oxfam's public health team. Both censuses will cover all seven Chokwe bairros. It is proposed that the KAPB survey include questions on diarrhea in line with Oxfam's public health promotion work.

3.7.2 Public Health Promotion

Activistas gave 163 talks on diarrhea, 122 on cholera and 133 on malaria, reaching 1,650 men, 2,761women and 3,425 children, over the past two weeks.

Activistas have carried out field visits to communities where vistas are working and are undertaking monitoring of theatre group activities. Oxfam's public health programme now has activistas in all communities except Xilembene, where co-ordination continues with WRM. House to house hygiene promotion has continued in communities, prioritising communities where cholera is prevalent. Bucket/soap distributions will recommence with improved targeting and training of Activistas.

3.7.3 Water

Much of Oxfam's operational emergency water supply work has been completed this week. The water team will now be split up into two teams instead of three: Small Water Systems and Water Points.

All the locations in which Oxfam is working have access to some clean, safe water supply within their bairros. This has been achieved through :

  • dewatering, disinfection of wells, with trained community members chlorinating on a daily basis;
  • installation of temporary water systems
  • use of 'watermaker' - chlorofloculant water treatment sachets
  • point chlorination
  • construction of public tapstands etc
  • Xilembene, old water system has been connected up to a new water supply from the river. This has ensured population's greater access to clean water although repairs to the distribution system will have to be made

The communities and Aquas De Chokwe will largely carry on the work that has been done by Oxfam. A supervisor will monitor the situation on all emergency interventions to ensure continued clean water access to targeted populations. They will also monitor chlorine residual levels and access to distributions of 'Watermaker' in the 4 bairros.

3.7.4 Latrines

1,579 latrines have been installed as part of this programme. The Emergency latrine programme is now coming to an end. Family latrines will become the priority focus, as immediate high cholera risk has reduced as a result of improved access to sanitation facilities and resumption of normal life.

3.7.5 Environmental Sanitation - Clean-up

The initial clean up of Chokwe town has been completed and the previously existing system of town clean up is being reactivated as part of the Phase 3 clean-up activities. The informal market in Chokwe town was cleaned up in a joint effort with Municipal workers and the market traders. Oxfam provided the equipment. Clean up work in the public buildings and individual housing has commenced.

Reports from a visits to Macia last week showed that the camps in which the displaced people were located in Macia have not been cleared up. A lot of rubbish exists, latrines not closed, rubbish and drainage pits not filled, rendering the area unsafe. Oxfam will this week contact the Administrator of Macia to find out if they plan to clean the area and how they propose to do it. Oxfam may then offer material assistance in order to carry out the work.

3.8 Public/Instititional Public Health Programme - Chokwe District

3.8.1 Institutional Support

Summary: The project aims to reduce excessive mortality and morbidity resulting from the floods through support to the public health institutions in Chokwe District and through the provision of water and sanitation interventions which prioritise public areas and buildings. Designed as a follow-up to the immediate emergency work of the emergency public health programme, the project aims to improve hygiene practices through the training of community activistas, the development of health education materials and close collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Infrastructural work will repair access roads to priority areas of intervention; support the public works department, the state water company and district level Ministry of Health to repair their offices, rebuilt administration records and replace key capital items to enable the resumption of their activities; disposal of septic waste, restoration of municipal waste management and environmental sanitation, reinstallation of small water systems in 8 towns and the rehabilitation of water and sanitation systems in priority schools and health clinics.

Support to Public Health Institutions

Almost all material for the rehabilitation of the Aguas de Chokwe office have now arrived. Work should commence next week on the office. The proposal for the reconstruction of a warehouse/workshop for the Water Company has been received and Aguas de Chokwe will be collecting quotations for the construction of the building.

Public Health Promoters are also working with Aqua Rural in devising a list of training materials, which they would require for the training of water point committees.

Rehabilitation of Schools/Health Posts (water and sanitation)

A meeting will be held between the District Director of Education, District Director of Health, Aquas de Chokwe, Aqua Rural, Public Works and Oxfam to discuss the implications of construction, particularly of water and sanitation facilities, at schools and health posts. Some schools were connected in the past to the existing town systems, but because of non-payment were cut off. Therefore, installing another connection for a tapstand from the same system will not solve the longer term problems. Installing a new well/borehole may also result in the water point being used as a public water point, and therefore has the potential to undermine the existing system.

It is estimated that there will be approximately 35 schools and 8 health posts at which latrines will be constructed.

Repair of Small Water Systems

Work continues on the Small Water Systems program. The geophysics survey commenced this week with the arrival of the consultants from Water Surveys to start the hydrocensus and desk study. A drilling contract has been put together and will be completed next week.

Environmental Sanitation

A timeplan has now been drawn up for the Phase 3 work and a desk study on the waste and septic disposal project starts next week. Options for low cost suction operation are presently being examined. This must be easily maintainable by the municipality an affordable to users.

Access Roads

The contracts for roads repair and maintenance has been signed between Oxfam and ENOP, a Mozambican company. Work has commenced immediately.

3.8.2 Community Public Health Programme

Summary: The aim of the project is to reduce excess morbidity and mortality from public health diseases resulting from the flooding this year. The project focuses on community public health and will rehabilitate and construct water points, construct family latrines, promote hygiene education on practices such as handwashing, proper storage of water, food and personal hygiene for 97,000 people in Chokwe town and district.

Household Latrines

Evaluations of the tenders for slab manufacture and visits to the contractor's installations have taken place. The proposal would be to use 3 contractors to carry out the work, in order to spread the workload out and increase the chances of completing the slabs on time.

Discussions have taken place within Oxfam to decide the total number of latrines to be built.

3.9 Public Health Programme - Xai Xai

Summary: The project aims to reduce the public health risks for 13,316 people in resettlement sites and flood-affected villages in Xai Xai district. This is to be achieved through the construction of 1,170 family latrines and 5 blocks of latrines at schools, the construction and rehabilitation of 42 wells, the distribution of 1070 hygiene kits and an extensive hygiene promotion project. In addition the project is supporting the construction of 190 houses through the provision of all required materials in both resettlement sites and in one of the affected villages.

Access by road from Maputo (small to medium size vehicles) has improved but heavy rains still make the road vulnerable to closure (60% of the time over that last two weeks).

Programme Activities

Objective One:

To improve the Environmental Health condition in the new settlement sites by improving the provision of the water and sanitation services in conjunction with a hygiene promotion programme.


In Mandlakazi a budget and plan (size of house, modus operandi etc.) has been drawn up by Oxfam and agreed by the Municipality and the community. Work has started to cut 'estaca' (wooden poles) - the Municipality is providing two tractors with drivers, the community the labour and Oxfam the fuel, some basic tools and food for the workers. The cutting of construction materials is expected to last until around 20th July.

The contract for PLM to produce 300 latrine slabs has been sent for translation. An additional contract has been verbally agreed for the construction of 200 slabs in Mandlakzi.

A plan for Oxfam to set up 'micro-projects' to construct slabs in the resettlement areas has been drawn up. A formally written plan is being presented to Obras Publicas in Xai-Xai and to PLM in Maputo for aproval.

The public health team members from the Ministry of Health and Agua Rural have started their work .

Objective Two:

To restore and improve the water and sanitation infrastructure and hygiene awareness in the affected communities.


New staff members hae been recruited and assessments are now underway. Well cleaning has started in Chilaulene.