While still recovering for the 2007 flooding, Mozambique is again facing the consequences of high levels of rainfall in Mozambique since late December 2007, compounded by persistent heavy rains in neighbouring countries (Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi). While the impact is anticipated to be greatest in the Zambezi River basin, the situation is also worsening in the Búzi, Púngue, Save and Licungo basins where the hydrometric levels are rising in the upper zone due to intense rains in the central region and in Zimbabwe. On the Zambezi River, national water authorities have had to gradually increase the outflow of water from the Cahora Bassa dam, from about 4,500 cubic meters per second on January 1st 2008 to 6,600 cubic meters per second as of 14 January 2008. The increased outflow has pushed the water levels downstream to above alert levels at nearly all monitoring stations. Persistent inflows from neighbouring countries are expected to raise the levels even further in the next days.
On 03 January 2008, the Government of Mozambique declared a Red Alert - the highest alert level issued for natural disasters - with the objectives of (i) fully activating its Emergency Operation Center (CENOE), (ii) accelerating evacuation operations and (iii) requesting the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) 1 to activate its cluster mechanisms and revise its response plans in support of their efforts.
In the framework of rapid multi-sectoral assessment conducted by UN agencies, WHO and some Health partners carried out a mission in flood affected areas namely in the provinces of Sofala, Tete and Zambezia.
The principal objective of this rapid assessment was to quickly assess the current health situation; public health threats in the flood affected areas and response capacity of health partners on the ground and consequently set up an appropriate strategy for immediate health life saving activities.