Mozambique: INGC Situation Report 16 Mar 2000

Instituto Nacional de Gestao das Calamidades

1. Evolution of the Floods

The water in the Incomati continues to drop, though it remains 0.62 metres above the critical level in Magude.

Minor changes have been registered in the Limpopo Valley, with the water levels rising slightly as a result of the rains which fell earlier this week in South Africa. This rise may have some effect in the towns of Chókwè and Xai-Xai.

Heavy rains in central Mozambique and Zimbabwe have caused a rise in the water levels in the Save River. A rise of 2.78 metres was registered in Vila Franca de Save over the last twenty-four hours. The population should be warned that this trend may continue for the rest of this week. The EN1 is now cut between Pambara and Vilankulos, and in Temane, though the link road between Pambara and Vulanjane (cut yesterday) has now been re-established.

The River Búzi is also rising, and the Búzi Company has been flooded. Those living on low-lying land have withdrawn to safer areas, taking refuge mostly in school buildings and hospitals. The Chicamba dam will almost certainly need to discharge water by the weekend, which will affect the districts downstream (Sussundenga, Goonda, Estaquinha, Bandua and Vila de Búzi).

Although the level of the Púngoe River is decreasing, those living along its banks should remain alert and preferably move away from the low-lying zones. The EN1 near Muari is still impassable due to the high water level.

2. Current Meteorological Forecast

The intensive rains of the last few days will weaken substantially today and over the coming days. The northern and central regions of the country will continue to experience cloudy skies and light rain until 20/03/2000. In the neighbouring countries, there will also be light patches of rain until the beginning of next week.

3. Urgent Information

The lack of fuel stocks is preventing the full implementation of relief activities in the Save River area. They also urgently require tents and water tanks.

4. Relief Action Under way

The following air support is currently available:

Fixed Wing
Rotary Wing
Rotary Wing

The relief operations yesterday transported the following loads:

Joint Task Force
AirServ (NGO)
Joint Task Force

By boat, 4,360kg of food were distributed in Nova Mambone.

5. Reports from Sector Desks


Yesterday, WFP delivered 221 tons of food to various locations in Gaza, Maputo and Sofala. Included in this total is the 163 tons which was shipped from Beira for distribution in Machanga and Búzi.

Food distribution was carried out in the accommodation centres and camps in Matola, in response to MISAU comments that many centres were running short of certain food products. Further distribution will take place today in the centres in Maputo City. WFP asked for assistance in identifying isolated populations, in particular in the northern districts of Maputo province.

The main priorities in this sector now have been identified as:

  • Increased local purchase of food products: a tender competition has been announced for local companies to provide certain food items. So far 5,500 tons of maize, 200 tons of beans and 40 tons of salt have been identified for potential purchase.
  • Targeting maize flour for displaced persons in centres: maize grain will continue to be distributed to those living in villages, but local grain milling capacities are at present insufficient to deal with the additional demand of the accommodation centres and camps.
  • Arrange for the implementation of the "cooking kits distribution plan": priority areas have been identified within the provinces of Gaza, Maputo, Inhambane and Sofala.
  • Continue distribution of high energy/protein biscuits: to children under five years, pregnant and lactating women in accommodation centres and camps.


Technicians are now being trained to travel to the provinces and give assistance to the populations returning to their homes. Those in Manica province have already begun to advise the local communities on the planting of the next harvest.

The assessment group travelling to Chibuto, Chókwè and Xai-Xai will include representatives from MAP, FAO and the World Bank.

MAP would like to encourage NGOs with experience in this sector to support the implementation of distribution plans and agricultural rehabilitation projects. MAP also requires assistance in the collection of quantitative data relating to damages caused by the floods. They have issued some advice in relation to the types of seeds being imported for distribution. The most important point is that the maize type being bought should be “Matuba”, or must at least be short-cycle and non-hybrid.

Next week, an evaluation of the damage suffered by private agro-industries will be carried out.


The Head of the Department for Environmental Sanitation visited Chókwè yesterday. He reported that the piped water system is now functioning, and that people have been advised to open their taps and let the water run through the system to try to clean it out. The Municipal authorities are beginning to clean up the debris and mud left in the town. The shallow wells in the town also need to be cleaned. They have therefore made a request for assistance in terms of tools and cleaning materials.

The list of NGOs certified to work in medical relief has now reached 24. MISAU allowed NGOs to continue registering today, therefore this number may increase. The full list will be published with tomorrow’s situation report.


Despite an increased number of cholera cases over the last few weeks, the numbers registered remain lower than the numbers registered during the same period last year. The Cholera Clinics that have been established in Maputo City are a precautionary measure, and are being used to treat all types of diarrhoeas. This is because not all health facilities have the technical capacity to distinguish between the different causes of diarrhoea. This may also account for the recent ‘increase’ in numbers of cases being reported.


Statistically, there are significantly more registered cases of malaria this year than for the same period during 1999. However, this will be partly due to the improved monitoring system that was introduced at the end of 1998, and is now functioning more reliably. The worst affected areas this year are Manhiça and Matola. In both of these areas, the flooding cut short the mosquito-spraying programme.


The water and sanitation group has successfully completed:

  • The first draft inventory of NGOs working in the sector and where they are located.
  • The establishment of a basic electricity network in Chókwè to enable the functioning of the water system.
  • The purchase of manual water pumps from STENAKS.
  • The elaboration of a series of sanitary education campaigns.

During the rest of this week, an evaluation of small water systems will be carried out in Sofala (Búzi, Chibabava and Machanga), Manica (Espungabera and Mussurizi), and Inhambane (Pande, Save and Nova Mambone).

An assessment of the aqueduct requirements along the EN1 in the Muare and Gorongosa river basins is also continuing this week.

Training of trainers has begun for the sanitary education campaigns, with the use of participatory approaches being emphasised. This will start to be implemented in the transitory camps and accommodation centres by the beginning of next week.

Water purification plants will be arriving in Maputo tomorrow from Austria. These will then be transported on to Chibuto. This should be co-ordinated with the water and sanitation group before being moved.


The EN1 is now cut:

  • between Pambara and Vilanvulos
  • in Temane
  • by the Muari River due to flood waters, as well as 2 km before this point

Also in Inhambane, the Mahave transit camp and the Mambulo camp are no longer accessible by road due to the recent rains.

The EN1 between Pambara and Vulanjane (cut yesterday) has now been re-established.

OXFAM report that there is a badly eroded section of tarmac along the Macia-Chókwè road (about 10km north of Chacalane). Due to the importance of this road for the delivery of relief to Chókwè, an evaluation of the damage and possible emergency repairs is required immediately. If any organisation has a road engineer that could assist with this, please contact OXFAM representatives, Robert Smith on 082 316555, or Jean McCluskey on 082 316883.

Shelter/Accommodation Centres/Non-Food Items

The following shelter and non-food items have been distributed:

15/03/2000 Chibuto
750 blankets (not 1,250 as stated yesterday)
50 bundles of clothes
750 blankets
16/03/2000 Save
30 tents
20 tents, 750 blankets, 100 cooking kits, 50 bundles of clothes
750 blankets, 50 bundles of clothes
750 blankets, 100 cooking kits, 50 bundles of clothes, 20 tents


Chibuto airstrip was closed yesterday and this morning due to heavy rains in the area. This is creating a slight backlog in the transporting of relief items.


A GIS meeting is being held daily at 16:00hrs at the INGC.

6. Resettlement/Rehabilitation Issues


It has been suggested that a rapid awareness raising campaign is needed in the accommodation centres and camps, in order to sensitise the population to the immediate dangers of dislodged landmines.

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