Mozambique: Humanitarian Situation Report No. 12

Situation Report
Originally published


Reporting Period: 06-09 March 2007



1. A senior level UN mission, including the Resident Coordinator, WFP, UNICEF and WHO representatives, as well as the Head of the OCHA Regional Office for Southern Africa, visited the flood and cyclone affected areas from 07 to 09 March. They met with officials from the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) in Vilanculos town, and in Caia. They also visited the Chupanga accommodation centre, the largest of the 60 accommodation centres established since rising water levels in the Zambezi-area forced people for flee their homes. While the level of assistance in some areas and/or sectors is adequate, improvements are still needed in others.

2. Serious infrastructural damage was caused by the cyclone in districts of Inhambane province, as well as in the Buzi, Machanga, Dondo and Chibabava districts in Sofala province. Priority needs for Inhambane continue to be as follows: 1) support for affected families, including materials to cover houses, NFIs and food; 2) support for the reconstruction of damaged health facilities; and 3) support to ensure minimum disruption to schooling.



3. The report on the WFP-funded multi-sectoral (Government/UN/NGO) Rapid Assessment of the Zambezi flood zone, recommends a number of immediate sector interventions, including: 1) the strengthening of centre management and registration systems to ensure the availability of accurate, disaggregated population data; 2) the maintenance of the food pipeline to remote areas; 3) the provision of supplementary feeding for malnourished children; 4) sustained and accelerated water, sanitation and hygiene interventions; 5) the provision of tools to support community involvement in building shelters and latrines; and 6) the provision of condoms in accommodation centres. The report also stresses the importance of early recovery planning.


4. Estimates indicate that some 20,000 additional people might be in need of shelter assistance in the flood hit provinces, mostly in areas logistically difficult to reach. The Mozambican Red Cross (CVM) estimates that there are another 61,000 people in need of shelter in the area hit by cyclone Favio. Further assessments are required to present more precise data and track needs.

5. The USAID Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) expressed willingness to provide plastic sheets for shelter purposes, provided needs can clearly be indicated.

6. The government has planned local resource centres in the Vilanculos area to provide technical assistance in mainstreaming the use of local building materials and facilitate the provision of tools and equipment to the population. The cluster proposes to start advocacy efforts targeting the population in the accommodation centres, as self-rehabilitation might start if no guidelines are proposed.

7. Save the Children in collaboration with the INGC will distribute 200,000 pamphlets advice brochures in the affected areas to promote awareness on what should be done when natural disasters hit. The provision of technical advice to local authorities, and capacity building on reconstruction of houses continues in the cyclone affected area.


8. Cluster partners have distributed 685 metric tons (equivalent to 27,416 x 25kg bags) of food assistance to 110,150 people in the flooded Zambezi River valley, as well as 87.5 metric tons (equivalent to 3,500 x 25kg bags) to 17,060 people in the cyclone affected areas.

9. Inadequate food supplies have been reported in the Goli goli area, which can only be reached by air. Affected people are moving to accommodation centres. While government figures estimate around 2,000 people, the actual number of people affected in the area has not been confirmed yet. .

10. Under the Humanitarian Response Plan of the IASC Humanitarian Country Team, the Food Security Cluster is planning to provide full emergency rations in March and April to 136,500 people affected by the cyclone, and to 163,000 people displaced from their homes by the floods. The Cluster is also planning to assist around 200,000 beneficiaries in the cyclone affected areas through food-for-work, food-for-assets and vulnerable group feeding rations from May to July – when they should be able to harvest a second season crop and to 263,000 beneficiaries in the Zambezi area. An additional 22,000 people in the flood-affected Mopeia district will be supported by a cash-based project to be managed by Save the Children.

11. There are concerns about growing number of people moving to camps to be included in food distribution lists. INGC is considering communal cooking facilities by groups of households to address this problem. Humanitarian Country Team partners will discuss the feasibility of this proposal with the INGC, especially in light of the added logistical, implementation and protection implications of launching wet feeding programs at this time.


12. As the TSF mission in Mozambique ends on 12 March 2007, a UNICEF-officer has travelled to Caia, for a full handover with TSF colleagues.

13. The Telecommunications Cluster has leased lines to provide internet access to the wider humanitarian community in the field. UN agencies and NGO partners should, however, be encouraged to look for their own data connectivity means.

14. An international WFP radio-trainer is in Caia to conduct training sessions on HF, VHF, satellite communications, portable HF and GPS operations for UN, NGO and INGC staff.


15. No epidemic diseases outbreaks have been reported to the Ministry of Health and WHO, but there is a recognised need to strengthen surveillance activities. WHO deployed two staff members to areas of difficult access in both the flood and the cyclone hit regions to consolidate to its support for health activities including surveillance.

16. In order to prevent outbreaks of cholera, sanitation and hygiene/health education remain priority concerns in affected areas. Diarrhoea is one of the most common illnesses being reported by health facilities/activists in the accommodation centres. In collaboration with Oxfam, CVM, FFH and MSF, local authorities are training community workers and opinion leaders on health education. Radio Mozambique is broadcasting spots in Portuguese and local languages on cholera prevention in the flood affected areas. Community theatres are also being supported to promote hygiene education, and prevention of HIV/AIDS as well as sexual abuse and exploitation.

17. A Basic Health Care Emergency Response Unit is working in Vilacunlos to support the local hospital which was seriously damaged by the cyclone

18. During the UN mission it was found that several health workers lost their house during the cyclone. There is a need to consider urgently how to help them, as they are involved in the delivery of health services to affected population.

19. To date, 53,000 Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets have been distributed to accommodation centres in the flood affected areas by Health Cluster partners.


20. Due to the reduction in the flood levels, many communities are now inaccessible by boat and by road due to extremely muddy conditions. Sena and Mutarara have recently become accessible by bridge (with a maximum load of 10 mt), as well as Rio Muira in the Tambara district with 4x 4 trucks.

21. The Logistics Cluster coordinated the establishment of a permanent BP fuel supply in Caia for the entire humanitarian community. The fuel depot should be functioning as of 12 March 2007.


22. Most centres in the flood affected provinces are now benefiting from WASH interventions. Some remote areas experience limited availability of water trucking equipment. In cyclone affected areas (Vilanculos, Inhassoro and Govuro), water trucking has continued as planned, and around 2,300 people (in three health centres, three accommodation centres and two schools) were covered in the first week. The plan is to extend the coverage to an additional 2,000 people by the end of this week.

23. The limited accessibility of many sites continues to impede the logistics of water and supply distribution. In cases as Mopeia and Mutarara, the only option is to use helicopters to distribute supplies.

24. As part of the preparedness plan for a possible cholera outbreak, the WASH Cluster has distributed 50,000 tablets of soap, water disinfectant and cholera control supplies, such as IV canulas, boots, and protective materials.


25. The Nutrition Cluster is supporting local health authorities and other partners to implement supplementary feeding schemes in the districts of Caia, Marromeu and Chemba in Sofala province, Mopeia and Morrumbala in Zambezia province, Mutarara in Tete province and Tambara in Manica province. Under the program, malnourished children are receiving the appropriate treatment (supplementary or therapeutic feeding).

26. Technical guidance on infant and young child feeding and support for pregnant and lactating women have been provided to the local health authorities and NGO partners involved in the supplementary feeding program.

27. Concerns have been raised by cluster partners regarding the suggestion of the INGC to replace traditional family rations with wet feeding, using communal kitchens, with the aim of addressing opportunism in accommodation centres. A number of potential problems with this policy change were identified by the group, including the reduced frequency of meals, especially affecting children; the possible exclusion of the most vulnerable; and the greater risk of food poisoning.


28. The Mozambican National Institute for Demining (IND) appealed to local authorities to collaborate closely to ensure resettlement in mine free areas. The IND has maps that show mined areas.

29. Handicap International (HI) is conducting mine risk assessments in flood affected areas. Assessments have already been completed in the Caia area. Several mine-fields have been identified and demining agents are being sent to the registered mine-fields to ensure that the demarcations remain valid.

30. HI also has a program to train local authorities on mine awareness campaigns to ensure that mine risk is minimized in relation to demarcations as part of the resettlement process. HI indicates it lacks resources to roll out the program to all provinces, and can only cover Caia, Maremeu, Tambara and Chemba districts.


31. Education Cluster partners have been working with provincial and district education authorities to distribute education and recreation materials to schools affected by the floods in Sofala, Tete and Zambezia provinces. To date some 18,000 learners' kits, over 120 school kits and 300 teachers' kits have been distributed. Fifteen school tents have been installed and are in use as temporary learning spaces in Sofala (Caia 10, Chemba 2, Marromeu 3), 6 in Zambezia (Mopeia) and 8 in Tete (Mutarara including Inhangoma). Three more will be installed in Mutarara over the coming days.

32. A distribution plan has been agreed by all cluster partners, in which Save the Children Norway will distribute 1,500 learners' kits and 5 school tents in Manica province this week (Tambara district); World Vision and Action Aid are distributing school tents in Mutarara district and will support the distribution of 10 more school tents provided by Save the Children Alliance which arrived on 4 March; Save the Children UK have installed three school tents in Mopeia; and Samaritan's Purse will distribute 3,000 more learners' kits in Chemba district.

33. The education cluster partners are working with the provincial and district level education authorities to support schools and School Councils to ensure that vulnerable children, particularly girls and orphans, who are currently out of school have access to education. Many of the children evacuated during the floods have never received schooling of any kind. Gender Units and School Council members have been mobilized to work with community leaders in the accommodation centres to encourage parents and care-givers to send their children, especially their daughters, to school. This is being done urgently to ensure that the new learners are included in the 2007 annual school survey, which is being conducted this week nationwide and which is used as the basis for allocation of resources.


34. The wider humanitarian community agreed at the national level to mainstream HIV/AIDS in all clusters. Save the Children Alliance announced it would roll out a program in Zambezia province from 12 March onwards. Efforts are ongoing to strengthen technical guidance required to implement policies on gender-based violence, sexual abuse and protection of HIV/AIDS affected people.


35. The continuing influx of people into accommodation centres in the Zambezi area has heightened the need for more effective registration processes, to better control the movement of people in accommodation centres. Improved registration processes would also facilitate food distribution and the identification of food and non food items assistance gaps.

36. The Council of Ministers is meeting on 12 March to discuss resettlement and reconstruction plans for the flood and the cyclone affected areas.

37. The INGC is planning to meet with Governors and District Administrators on 22 March 2007 in Manica, to review final policy regulations for resettlement. The national INGC level is now scaling down its involvement in the emergency response and handing over responsibility to local authorities.


38. The Mozambique Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the UN Country Team have finalized the Humanitarian Response Plan to cover the medium term flood response and immediate cyclone response activities over the three-month period from March to May. The plan is intended to bridge the transition period between the Government Contingency Plan and the Government Recovery Plan. The Plan is expected to be launched early next week.

Contact Details:

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

UN Resident Coordinator (Mozambique) Mr. Ndolamb Ngokwey, Tel: + 258-21-485-158

OCHA Regional Office for Southern Africa (South Africa) Ms. Kelly David, Tel: + 27-11-517-1609

OCHA R/C Mozambique Communication Team Mr. Luis Zaqueu, Tel: + 258–21-485-159,
Mr. Dimitri Lermytte, Tel: + 258–84 6990970

Desk Officer (New York) Ms. Mette Tangen, Tel: + 1-917-367-3001

Press contact: (Geneva) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, Tel. +41-22-917 2653

Press contact: (New York) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, Tel: +1-917-367-5126

This situation report, together with additional information on the current crisis is also available on As your tool for timely information sharing, please encourage submissions of documents and maps by email to