1. Evolution of the Floods
The river levels are mainly stable and dropping very slowly. The flood wave on the Limpopo River reached Xai Xai late morning on 28 March, after which the level began to fall. Both the Save and Buzi rivers are below alert level, and the Buzi could remain this way as long as there is no large discharge from the Chicamba dam. The Pungwe River is tending to fall, although it is still half a metre above danger level. The Zambezi and Licungo Rivers are both falling. However, the Messalo River in Cabo Delgado high, though tending to decline.
2. Current Weather Forecast
The weather is mostly cloudy with light intermittent rain. The forecast over the next three days is for scattered showers. The progress of a cyclone forming over the Indian Ocean is being monitored. It is currently 3,000 kilometres from the coast of Nampula and thus not an immediate cause of concern.
The long-range forecast predicts that conditions will favour above-average rainfall over southern Africa in the first half of April. Climatologically, rainfall declines rapidly over southern Africa during late March and early April. This evolution has been evident in the last two weeks. However, a large-scale atmospheric circulation pattern has contributed to above normal area coverage and heavier than normal rainfall throughout the region. This large-scale pattern is expected to continue. Thus it is likely that the rainy season over southern Africa will extend beyond its normal period.
3. Information update
The INGC is to have a meeting on 30 March at 9.30 on the 7th floor to fine tune co-ordination mechanisms and logistics operations. This will be the first of regular meetings to pool and disseminate information, to reach agreement on priorities for locations and needs, and to optimise the use of air and surface transport.
4. Reports from Sector Desks
The WFP delivered 214 tonnes of food on 27 and 28 March. This brings the cumulative total of food delivered since the start of the emergency operation on 11 February to at least 5,100 tonnes. This cumulative total includes previously unreported deliveries.
The main priorities regarding food aid deliveries include the mobilisation of more funds. Despite generous support so far, the WFP still needs USD35 million for food and special logistics operations to continue. Transport by road is another priority, and the first trucks were dispatched today from Beira to Xai Xai.
Food and non-food items are to be positioned in Chokwe instead of Palmeira, for air delivery to Chokwe and Guija. It is proposed to hold food aid co-ordination meetings only once a week, on Tuesdays, 10.00 hours, at the UN dispensary.
A total of 309 tonnes of food was distributed from Beira from 24 to 27 March. The food was transported by road, boat and air to destinations mainly in in Sofala and Manica, as well as Inhambane provinces.
The distribution of the seed and tool kits financed through an Italian donation remains a priority for the agricultural sector. The provincial authorities are seeking financial assistance to deliver the kits to the districts and localities. Transport is secured only as far as provincial capitals. The sector is urging NGOs, the INGC and the WFP to participate in the distribution of the seed and tool packages.
Donor response to requirements for seeds and tools now covers supplies for 91,398 households, in addition to the 60,000 agpaks financed by Italy. It is estimated that 124,250 families need seeds and tools. Delivery of the seed and tool kits is being co-ordinated with the WFP.
The Ministry of Health needs 20 tents for health workers who are displaced in Pande from Nova Mambone. Tents are also required to set up a cholera ward at Catembe, a suburb of Maputo City.
On March 28, the Gaza provincial health directorate sent medicines, chlorine, a maternity delivery kit and an activist to Maqueze in Alto Changane, which has been cut off, and two South African sanitation specialists went to Xai Xai. The health authorities would welcome logistical support from Sofala in order to supply the northern part of Inhambane.
As regards epidemiological information, there has been a sharp increase in the incidence of acute diarrhoea in Catembe and two confirmed cases in Chimoio, capital of Manica province. Since the beginning of the year, 860 cases of cholera have been recorded in Maputo, compared to 295 cases in the same period last year. The comparable figures in Sofala province are 320 cases this year and 205 in 1999. For suspected cases of malaria, 7,010 were recorded in Inhambane province this year, compared to 5,483 in 1999.The first nine weeks of this year saw 16,773 cases of malaria in Maputo province, against 11,520 in the same period 1999.
The health authorities have started a vaccination campaign for under fives in Sofala and Inhambane provinces.
There is little new information on activities in the water and sanitation sector. Organisations working in this sector were urged to share information with the sector working group, about where they are working and what projects are being implemented. This group meets three times a week.
Since the last report, the water supply in Chibuto has been tested and was found to be clean and safe. The distribution of water treatment materials continues.
Activities planned for the coming week are the clean up of Chokwe and an awareness campaign on environmental hygiene.
In Sofala province, the ACF has had problems in transporting staff to start water and sanitation work in Divinhe, Machanga district. A decision is needed on the resettlement of people in Guara Guara, in order to know where to build latrines.
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.
With regard to the distribution of non-food items, Beira reports the delivery of shelter materials to 230 families in Nova Sofala on 26 March, with plans to supply 400 families in Mossurize the following day.
Data available at central level on the distribution of non-food items has many gaps. Organisations involved in relief operations were requested to provide this information.
The data show that 1,500 tents and 27,885 blankets have been distributed in Chibuto, Chokwe and Xai Xai districts in Gaza province.
Beira also reports the existence of 8,000 people in a warehouse at the Buzi district capital. They have access to clean water, medical assistance and food, but not to latrines. There are therefore health concerns and the Provincial Health Directorate would like to move these people to move to Guara Guara, where there are already 225 families.
The Joint Logistics Operation Centre (JLOC) will move the logistics base forward from Palmeira to Chokwe and expects to move food supplies to Chokwe. Flights to Chibuto today were cancelled because the runway was too soft as a result of the rain.
The cumulative total of air operations was reported as 4,966.4 hours of flying time as of 28 March, with 4,858.6 tonnes of cargo and 20,461 passengers.
Beira reports that a boat carrying 43 tonnes of commodities left Beira on 26 March for Buzi and was due back on 27 March to carry another load. In addition, Airserv has started flights from Beira. However, until the airport authorities receive an official letter from the Government, the airport will continue to charge airport fees.
The current fleet composition is shown in the following table.
Cases are still occurring of transporters arriving without proper documentation and information on customs clearance procedures. This information should be disseminated as widely as possible to avoid delays in the clearance of goods.
Some 2,000 tonnes of goods have been transported to Gaza and Inhambane for distribution in the commercial network. More is expected to go later this week. Commerce officials are co-ordinating with WFP for the transport of food for the commercial network in Chicualacuala and Chibuto, both inaccessible by road. The possibility is also being investigated of using rubber boats to transport goods for commerce from Chicumbane.
The National Directorate of Roads and the Provincial Directorate of Public Works and Housing confirm that the main national highway (EN1) is open from Inchope to Xai Xai, with a weight restriction of 35 tonnes.
5. Field information
A mission to Machaze from Beira on 26 March indicates a need for more assessment in terms of beneficiary figures. The district administration proposed raising the number from 8,192 to 12,384. The mission gave as an example a locality with over four thousand beneficiaries, which was discovered to be the total population. However, floods had affected only 24 households with a total of 313 members. The beneficiary numbers are being revised accordingly.
It was also discovered that deliveries to Zimbico, close to Save, were being dropped of at Mavende, which is further away. Deliveries will now be made from Save.
The mission found that Inharringue in Sofala province had 7,000 people, rather than the 5,200 included in the distribution plan. Changes to these figures will have to be communicated to the provincial INGC by the district administration.
Tents intended for the Buzi district capital were sent instead to Estaquinha, a mistake to be investigated by the Provincial Directorate of Public Works and Housing. FHI has recommended sending tents earmarked for Nova Sofala to Guara Guara, since no real shelter problems were observed at Nova Sofala.
The Accelerated Demining Programme has sent an official to Sofala to assess the effects of the floods on previously marked minefields. Two mine observations have been reported, one near a school in Maringue district and the other at Buzi. Mine awareness training has been given to 3,126 people in Save.