Mozambique Floods Update: 27 Feb 2000

For immediate release
Concerns grow for Mozambique's stranded as more flooding expected

Save the Children today made an urgent appeal for help to relieve the plight of thousands of people stranded in the Gavuro district in northern Inhambane, Mozambique. The appeal follows a joint aerial assessment of the region conducted by Save the Children, The Irish Embassy, and MSF Spain.

Save the Children field staff report of thousands of families marooned on rooftops and trees around Nova Mabone and along the SAVE River. Village after village appears to be completely submerged, with the water levels rising rapidly there is now a race against time to provide urgent support.

Doctor Carole Collins -Save the Children's public health officer explains:

"Families have been stranded there since Monday, exposed to the elements and cut off from external assistance. Their health situation is precarious. I am particularly concerned about the younger children many of whom are unlikely to survive another night under these conditions."

She added:

"This situation is desperate - there is an urgent need to evacuate as many people as possible, and those that are left behind need plastic sheeting and blankets to protect them from the rains. Time is of the essence - the only way to access these people is by helicopter or boat, and we desperately need more of them in Mozambique to enable the authorities to increase their capacity to respond."


An estimated 42,000 people live in Nova Mabone - a relief effort is now underway to evacuate the most vulnerable. Save the Children staff in Inhambane are working round the clock with provincial authorities to prepare a site, and provide essential facilities in the flood safe areas of Tande for the evacuees.


For more information and interviews:
Save the Children's press office:
Direct Line +44(0)207716 2280
Out of hours 07831 650 409

Notes to editors:

Donations in support of Save the Children's response can made by calling : 020 7701 8916

Save the Children has worked in Mozambique since 1984. The agency's current long term development programme includes work on HIV/AIDS, improving basic services such as health and education, and in conjunction with the government and local NGO's building a commitment to children's rights.

Save the Children UK is the UK's leading international children's charity, working in over 70 countries world-wide to make a reality of every children's right to a happy, healthy, safe start in life.

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