Mozambique Launches Flood Emergency Appeal

MAPUTO, Mozambique (PANA) - The Mozambican government on Monday appealed to the international community for emergency aid valued at almost 30 million U.S. dollars to assist the victims of Februay's severe flooding in the central provinces, and to repair flood damage.
Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao launched the appeal at a meeting in Maputo with representatives of donor countries and organisations.

The flood appeal document said that 300,000 people were affected by flooding in the central provinces of Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia, and that 78 people were known to have lost their lives.

It said that the floods had swamped 7,300 houses and 79,520 hectares of crops. These figures are preliminary, and are certainly underestimates. the figures from lost crops only come from sofala and zambezia, but it is known that floods on the zambezi and its tributaries have submerged large areas of farmland in the tete districts of moatize and mutarara.

The largest single item in the emergency appeal is 10.8 million dollars for the repair of roads and bridges damaged or swept away by the floods.

The vast bulk of this money - slightly more than 10 million dollars - is to be spent on one road, the Beira-Zimbabwe highway, several kilometres of which were submerged by flooding on the Pungue river. The rest of the money is to repair the access road to the ferry over the Zambezi at Caia.

The government is also asking for six million dollars worth of food aid, to be distributed free of charge to flood victims, particularly the 125,000 or so people who have lost all their possessions. The money will buy 27,540 tonnes of maize, beans and vegetable oil, of which 5,760 tonnes are required immediately. Other relief goods requested (clothing, blankets, domestic utensils, and soap) are valued at 5.68 million dollars.

To ensure that peasants can replant their fields, once the flood waters have subsided, the government estimates that 765 tonnes of maize, bean and peanut seeds are required, costed at 608,500 dollars.

The appeal document budgets the logistics involved in moving this aid to the flood victims at 3.5 million dollars. About 1.5 million dollars of this will be spent on airlifts to areas which have been completely isolated by the floods. The rest is required for fuel and tyres for relief vehicles.

Two million dollars is needed to cope with the health consequences of the floods - notably the expected worsening of malaria in the river valleys, and outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as typhoid and dysentery.

The rest of the funds requested are for restoring sources of clean water damaged by the floods, and for "institutional support", notably building up the capacity of mozambique's own relief agency, the dpccn, to cope with such disasters.

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