Mozambique: INGC Situation Report 27 Mar 2000

Situation Report
Originally published
1. Evolution of the Floods

The levels of the rivers in the south of the country are falling, although some rain is being recorded in this area and in the neighbouring countries upstream. However, the Limpopo River is still in flood. The level of the river is beginning to fall at Pafuri and up to Sicacate, but a slight increase was recorded at Xai Xai from 25 to 26 March. A fall of 43 cm was recorded at Combumune in that period, leaving the river 1.13 metres above the alert level. At Chokwe the river is falling, but a slight increase was expected at Xai Xai in the course of today. The population is being advised to remain vigilant.

Flows in the Incomati River are reducing, although the river was still 0.78 metres above alert level at Magude this morning. In the Umbeluzi basin, the flow in the Umbelizi is falling, while the Movene River rose by 53 cm yesterday because of localised rain. These rivers are reported to be more or less stable, with changes in the water level being very slight.

The Save River recorded a slight rise overnight, but it is reported to be draining well. However, the Buzi River is still in flood and the Pungwe valley remains in a state of alert.

The situation is reported to be good in both the Zambezi and Licungo basins. While lack of communications has hampered contact for information on the Messalo River in Cabo Delgado province, rainfall data could indicate further flooding in this valley.

With regard to dams, the Corumana and Massingir dams are both above 100% capacity, while the Pequenos Libombos is down to 88.3%.

No information is available on the current state of the Chicamba dam in the centre or the Cahora Bassa dam in the north.

2. Current Weather Forecast

A cold front arrived in the south of Mozambique on the afternoon of 26 March, bringing 70 mm of rain to the Mozambican capital, accompanied by thunder and winds of 37 kph. The rest of the country was mostly fair, with slight rain in Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces.

The forecast for 27 March predicts isolated rain or showers in coastal areas of Gaza and Maputo, partly cloudy and warm in Tete, Manica, Sofala and Zambezia, with isolated thundershowers, and very cloudy with showers and thunderstorms in Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces.

On 28 March, Inhambane, Gaza and Maputo provinces are expected to be partly cloudy to very cloudy, with scattered showers along the coast. Sofala, Tete, Manica and Zambezia will be partly cloudy and warm, with isolated rain. Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces will be partly cloudy with light rain expected inland.

The north of the country is expected to have scattered thundershowers on March 29, while the south will be partly cloudy with light rain. Scattered showers in coastal areas are forecast for the whole country on 30 March.

3. Information update

A joint Government/UN team visited the Chiaquelane accommodation centre on 25 March to investigate a reported disturbance at the centre on 23 March. It found that the cause of the disorder was unco-ordinated distribution of aid, without prior arrangements being made with the local authorities. When a large crowd gathered around the trucks, the driver of one truck panicked and starting driving towards the WFP warehouse, hitting six people as he went. One person was killed at the scene and five others were injured. One woman had to have a leg amputated as a result of her injuries.

It was noted that the distribution of food aid should be co-ordinated with the local authorities, the WFP and other organisations working in the centres to avoid such situations in future.

4. Reports from Sector Desks


The WFP delivered 638 tonnes of food on 24 to 26 March, 309 tonnes of which were transported by road and boat. This brings the cumulative total of food delivered since the start of the emergency operation on 11 February to 4,807 tonnes.

In relation to food aid deliveries, the priorities include co-ordination with the distribution of seeds and tools, to ensure that people will not be in danger of eating seeds for lack of food. The working group on food is concerned about improving the co-ordination of relief food supplies through a better exchange of information.


Priorities in the agriculture sector include the distribution of the seed and tool kits financed through an Italian donation. The kits are currently being delivered to provincial capitals. Funds are now required to pay for transporting these to the districts and localities.

An aerial reconnaissance of Gaza is planned so as to determine where it might be possible to begin planting.

A list of the recommended varieties of seed and their prices is available to donors at the Ministry of Agriculture.

In relation to the livestock table presented at the last meeting, it was explained that this table showed the numbers of livestock at risk because of the floods, but no firm information is yet available about actual stock losses.

Donors have approved enough funds to provide 71,000 agricultural packages, in addition to the 60,000 agpaks financed by Italy. The total of other projects under preparation is equivalent to 127,000 kits. It is estimated that 124,250 families need seeds and tools. The first trucks carrying the Italian donation are due to arrive in provincial capitals on 29 March.

It is hoped that NGOs will participate in the distribution of seeds and tools to locality level. The provincial directorates of agriculture are seeking assistance to pay for this delivery. There has been no response to the component of the 24 February appeal for aid to cover logistics and distribution costs.

The working group on agriculture is concerned at the lack of response to needs in the livestock sector. Maputo province has so far reported the death of 1,300 head of cattle.


Five large tents are needed for the health post at the Chiaquelane accommodation centre that is serving as a temporary rural hospital. This will complement the Spanish emergency field hospital. The population at the centre has swelled in recent days, and the tents are needed to improve services and organisation.

Sanitation at the Chiaquelane centre is deficient because of the rise in the number of residents. The Ministry of Health has received a proposal for the supply of plastic latrines, at a unit price of 2,500 Rands, including enough chemicals for three months. The feasibility of using such latrines will be investigated, taking into account the benefits and the possibility that the latrines may be re-used in a future emergency situation.

As regards the incidence of cholera from 24 to 26 March, 509 cases, including 4 deaths, were reported in Maputo City and 21 cases in Matola. No information was available in relation to Beira and other areas of Sofala province.


The water supply system in Chokwe is being replaced and procurement has begun for pumps for Xai Xai. Pumps for drainage have also been sent to Chokwe and Xai Xai.

Work has started on replacement of the water systems at Moamba and Magude. In addition, the work to build an inventory of NGOs involved in water and sanitation projects is continuing and this information is being incorporated into a database at INGC, with UNDAC assistance.

Some assessments are being hampered by lack of funds and areas in Mabalane district are particularly difficult to reach.

Shelter/Accommodation centres/Non-food items

The working group on shelter is continuing to gather information on the needs in the accommodation centres, as well as contacting NGOs and other institutions to prepare for the resettlement phase.

The cumulative distribution of goods until 24 March is as follows. It was noted that the figures are provisional and include only data from INGC, the Red Cross, UNICEF, WFP and GOAL.

Tents: 965 (various sizes)
Rolls of plastic: 4,142
Tarpaulins: 1,013
Clothes: 5,006 bales
Cooking sets: 3,105


Air assets will be reduced as from tomorrow. Air operations will now concentrate on inaccessible areas. Moreover, there will no longer be any flights between Beira and Maputo for passengers, who should use the commercial services instead.

The Joint Logistics Operation Centre (JLOC) is trying to move the logistics base forward from Palmeira to shorten flying distances. JLOC has offered to help with logistics planning if any organisations need this.


No abnormal situations regarding customs were reported. From 24 to 26 March four Emergency Documents were dispatched at Maputo airport, and 17 were issued at the Matola customs terminal on Friday. The goods imported included medicines, food, tents, computers and office equipment.

5. Field information


The Minister of Health at the weekend visited the district of Matutuine, where he found there were shortages of food and paraffin, but an adequate stock of medicines. At the Oliveiras accommodation centre in Boane district, 30 of the 80 families in the centre are preparing to resettle. They have received resettlement kits consisting of tents, planks and materials to build latrines. No problems with food and medical supplies were noted, either at Boane or at Magude, also in Maputo province.


The health minister also visited the district of Chicualacuala in Gaza province. He found the health centre to be clean, stocked with medicines and staffed with people capable of treating the main diseases. There is a stock of chlorine for the prevention of cholera. However, the Pafuri administrative post is isolated, and without any health staff (the nurse is stuck in the district capital), and the Mapai administrative post is difficult to reach. It was noted that 2,951 affected families have been housed in alternative accommodation.

Damage in the district was reported to consist of 7,500 house washed away, 3,118 hectares of crops lost, 52 head of cattle and 51 goats drowned.

It was noted that the tools of farming families had been washed away by the floodwater and household food stocks were lost. There is a shortage of food in the shops because the normal suppliers in Chokwe and Maputo have no access. Clean water is scarce because the water supply depends on the rain. Some workers have received no wages for two months and fuels are in short supply.


The emergency co-ordinator in Inhambane province has reported continuing difficulties in communicating with Beira for the purpose of co-ordinating relief activities in the Save valley.

The priority needs for the relief operations in Inhambane are for fuel and large tents to serve as hospitals. There is also need for water tanks, water purification, domestic kits and construction kits.

The health authorities are planning to start a vaccination campaign in the accommodation centres at Pande, Save and Maluvane.