Mozambique: INGC Situation Report 05 Apr 2000

Report
from Government of Mozambique
Published on 05 Apr 2000
1. Evolution of the Floods

The Umbeluzi River is stable and dropping slowly. It is expected that this situation will continue. The Incomati River fell overnight but might rise again at Ressano Garcia and Magude because of rain upstream. The level of the Limpopo River is declining slowly and no sharp drop is expected. The flow in the Save River rose overnight to alert level, although no fresh flooding has occurred.

In the centre of the country, the Buzi River and its tributaries have fallen significantly, mainly because the Chicamba dam has stopped discharging. However, the levels in this basin could rise if rain inland increases. The Pungwe River level has fallen, but it is still above alert level and could rise again as a result of cyclone "Hudah".

The Zambezi River is normal, but the effects of the cyclone could cause floods in Caia, Mopeia and Chinde, districts bordering the river. The ground in this region is saturated and floods would occur rapidly.

Rivers in the Mozambique's northern provinces are being monitored because of the probable effects of the cyclone in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Sofala.

2. Current Weather Forecast

Tropical Cyclone "Hudah" was centred approximately 250 km due east of Quelimane, capital of Zambezia province, at 04.00 hours local time (06.00 hours UTC) on 6 April. It was moving at about 6 kph in a south south-westerly direction and is expected to maintain this path overnight. The cyclone is predicted to be over open sea 370 km east of Beira by 04.00 H (06.00 H UTC) on 7 April and is likely to remain over open sea about 200 km east of Beira on 8 April.

Heavy rainfall (50 to 150 mm) is forecast on 7 April along the coast and adjacent interior north of Beira, particularly between Quelimane and Angoche in Nampula province.

Heavy rain is not expected in areas south of Beira on 7 April, but cloudy weather will persist, with a 60% chance of rain. The probability of rain will drop to 40% over southern Mozambique on 8 April. However, as the cyclone is expected to be close to Beira on 8 April, there is a 60-80% chance of heavy rain over Beira and Vilankulo in Inhambane province.

3. Information update

The INGC is accompanying a team of US specialists in disaster response to Beira on 7 April to train local officials and NGOs in disaster response. The specialists, from Miami in the United States, were invited by USAID/OFDA to help Mozambique respond to the possible impact of tropical cyclone "Hudah", currently causing heavy rain in the provinces of Nampula and Zambezia.

Information from Nampula and Zambezia indicated heavy rain in Angoche, Moma and Mogincual on 4 and 5 April, but there were no reports of serious damage to buildings or trees. The INGC is maintaining contact with the local authorities to monitor the situation. USAID has sent two staff members to Quelimane to collect information on personnel available for disaster response.

The damage reported from Moma was relatively minor. About 60 hectares of crop land were destroyed. In addition, 59 houses built of precarious materials were destroyed, four houses of conventional materials were damaged and 149 cashew trees and 30 coconut palms were felled by the storm. In Pebane, Zambezia province, a falling casuarina tree caused some damage to the local health centre.

The deputy ministers of transport and communications and public works and housing are in Cape Town, South Africa, to participate in the continuing efforts to establish formal mechanisms for a southern African regional capacity to respond to natural disasters.

The Government is putting the finishing touches to the document to be presented to the donor conference on post-flood reconstruction in Mozambique. The document will be circulated among key donors for comment. The conference is now scheduled to be held on 3 and 4 May in Rome.

Portuguese marines who helped bring humanitarian assistance to flood victims in the Save valley left Mozambique on 4 April after completing their mission. During the farewell ceremony, the Portuguese military offered the Mozambican navy the 20 boats they used in their operations.

4. Reports from Sector Desks

Food

The WFP delivered 396.9 tonnes of food on 3 and 4 April, consisting of 116.4 tonnes by road, 47.5 tonnes by boat and 233 tonnes by air. This brings the cumulative total of food delivered since the start of the emergency operation on 11 February to at least 6,500 tonnes. This cumulative total includes previously unreported deliveries.

WFP has placed 1,000 tonnes of food in Nampula and 500 tonnes in Quelimane in anticipation of response needs following the tropical cyclone "Hudah". It also has staff and an aircraft on standby for food deliveries. Food deliveries to Xai Xai by road from Beira have been delayed because the main north-south highway (EN1) is cut between the Save River and the turn-off to Inhassoro in Inhambane province.

Future meetings of the food aid co-ordination group have been cancelled because of poor attendance.

Agriculture

Seeds for distribution in Maputo and Gaza were expected to arrive in Maputo by road from Harare on the afternoon of 6 April. The distribution of the seed and tool kits financed through an Italian donation will be carried out by NGOs in Manica, Sofala, Inhambane, Gaza and Maputo provinces. Agricultural kits have been delivered to 9,432 households in Chokwe, 884 households in Magude, 3,969 households in Machanga and 4,000 households in Xai Xai district.

Field teams from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have recommended that the distribution of seed and tool kits be co-ordinated at district level. The district authorities are also the best source of information on the crop calendar, since the timing of farming activities varies according to local conditions. The ministry is preparing a plan to give assistance to private commercial farmers who have been affected by the floods.

Agricultural officials remain concerned at the lack of donor response to the needs of the livestock sector. Vaccine against Newcastle disease is especially important because chickens constitute and substantial source of protein in the diet of Mozambicans.

Health

The Ministry of Health has given priority to assessing the damage by flood and cyclone to the health network. In Maputo province, the health centre at Namaacha collapsed, while two health centres in Magude district have been severely damaged. In Gaza province, eight health centres, including one in the city of Xai Xai, one in Guija district and six in Chokwe district, are under water, as are the rural hospital at Chokwe and the district directorate of health in Guija. Only one health centre in Inhambane province, at Nova Mambone, is submerged, but six others in the province have suffered varying degrees of damage and the district directorate of health building at Inhassoro has collapsed. The health centre and the district directorate of health in Machanga, Sofala province, are inundated, while health centres and health posts in Buzi and Chibabava have mainly suffered severe damage. Now the Ministry of Health wants to open bids for a contract to conduct a quantitative evaluation of the damage and the needs for rehabilitation. For this purpose, a team from the ministry will have to visit the affected areas to draw up the terms of reference.

As regards epidemiological information, the most common diseases are diarrhoea, malaria and acute respiratory infections. The incidence of acute diarrhoea in Maputo city and province began to increase sharply from around the beginning of March, shooting up to 1,258 cases in the last week of March from 56 cases reported in the first week. A total of 2,959 cases of acute diarrhoea, including 35 deaths, were reported in Maputo city and province in the first three months of this year.

A rapid nutritional assessment conducted among displaced children aged 1 to 5 years on 29 to 31 March suggested that the prevalence of severe malnutrition is low (0.4%), while moderate malnutrition (6%) is low to medium overall. However, moderate malnutrition varies by age. The most vulnerable are children aged 12-23 months (15.3%) and 24-35 months (7.4%). It also varies by camp, with the highest incidence (8.5%) found in Chiniacanine camp in Guija district. Access to this camp is difficult and food aid is delivered by helicopter. The incidence of diarrhoea is very high, particularly among the severe (83.3%) and moderately (81.7%) malnourished, exacerbating the prevalence of malnutrition.

The study recommended the identification of children with severe malnutrition for immediate enrolment in therapeutic feeding programmes. Moreover, under fives should be fed at least three times a day to deal with the problem of moderate malnutrition. To lower the incidence of diarrhoea, at least five litres of clean water should be provided for each person every day for drinking and cooking.

Shelter/Accommodation centres/Non-food items

The working group on shelter is continuing to gather information on the needs in the accommodation centres, and to assess stocks.

With regard to the distribution of non-food items, 30 tents and 10 rolls of plastic sheeting have been sent to Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Zambezia in anticipation of needs that may created as a result of cyclone "Hudah".

Logistics

The Joint Logistics Operation Centre (JLOC) will provide quantitative data on logistics operation once a week from now on.

The emergency flood relief operation has 35 aircraft at its disposal, mostly helicopters. It was noted that the small fixed wing aircraft are largely under-employed, even though the cost is about one fifth of the operating cost of the helicopters. Light fixed wing aircraft can land at Chibuto, Manjacaze and Chicualacuala. Heavy capacity, such as C130 and C160 aircraft, is lacking. The JLOC is considering the possibility of seeking donor funds to charter a C130 to transport food and non-food items to Beira, Inhambane and Vilankulo, but donors and NGOs need to inform the JLOC of their transport needs as soon as possible. A minimum number of flying hours must be guaranteed to make such a charter worthwhile.

Customs

Customs requested that agencies receiving donations of goods ensure that quantities and values of the goods are provided before delivery, including a value for the cost of freight and insurance. This information is important for statistical purposes. There are over 200 instances where this information is missing, and the INGC is therefore unable to calculate the quantity and value of the assistance arriving in the country. Estimates may be given in the case of second-hand goods.

5. Field information

Gaza

A joint assessment mission composed of the WFP, Oxfam, CARITAS and LWF visited Mabalane district on 1 April. The following is extracted from the mission report.

The food supply situation is very difficult because there is no access by road. In addition, the water supply system was washed away in the flood, and the population is consuming water from the river and from remaining pools of flood water. The crops, which were almost ready for harvesting, were also washed away.

The main priorities identified were: water supply and food aid. It should be noted that a local prison has 147 prisoners and 60 guards. The prison has no food because it depends on supplies from Maputo. Moreover, the guards have received no wages for three months.

The health post is functioning and has supplies of basic medicines delivered before the floods, which means that the population in the district capital are receiving a normal health service.

The most serious problem that requires a solution is access by road.

Estimate population affected:

Mabalane village: 5,108 persons
Total district population: 26,000 (97 Census)
Total affected population in the district: 18,951 persons.

A private trader is using boat to cross the flooded area and bring some goods to Mabalane, but the people lack cash to buy these goods.

This report was produced by the INGC Co-ordination Centre with assistance from UNDP. It incorporates information provided by INAM, DNA-DRC, WFP, UNICEF and other participating agencies.

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