Mozambique: One million affected, says Chissano

News and Press Release
Originally published
JOHANNESBURG, 1 March (IRIN) - The devastating floods in Mozambique have now affected close to one million people President Joaquim Chissano said on Wednesday.
"The figure is difficult to quantify but we speak of one million people on the move at the moment," news reports quoted him as saying.

"We say thank you for all the help we have received but we are asking for more. Our people have nothing and the world can do more," Chissano added.

Reports from Mozambique say that hundreds of thousands are still stranded and that water was gushing down two of the country's main rivers, the Save and the Limpopo in the south of the country.

Sixty thousand affected along Save river In their update on the situation Mozambican Government's Instituto Nacional
de Gest=E3o de Calamidades (INGC) said that preliminary reports have suggested that up to 25,000 people living south of the river had been affected, and that 35,000 people north of the river were also at risk.

The INGC said that people displaced by floods along the Save river are congregating in Inhambane's provincial towns of Save, Pande and Mahave, and that the communal kitchens had "adequate food supplies for the moment". The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) at Viliankulos on the Inhambane coast had already sent nearly 30 mt of food to the area.

According to the INGC, over 50 percent of children in these three camps have been separated from their families and the Save the Children Fund - UK (SCF-UK) was "currently discussing" the situation with the ministry for women and social welfare.

Urgent requirements

The INGC said that fuel remained a severe constraint in many parts of the country but was "urgently required" in Save and Inhassoro, in the eastern part of Inhambane Province. About 300 kg of chlorine had been sent to various temporary camps to provide portable water.

"There is also a desperate need for more tents, plastic sheeting, blankets, cooking utensils, water tanks, water taps and pipes (in the Save area) for about 10,000 people," the INGC said.

It said that 30 mt of health and water equipment would be arriving in Beira, about 700 km north of Maputo, and these would be sent by road to the northern parts of Inhambane Province.

The health post at Nova Mambone, also in Inhambane, "urgently needed more medicines and health staff," the INGC added.

The situation in the Limpopo valley, the INGC said, remained serious and that the level of water at Xai-Xai, the capital of Gaza Province, "was still above the critical level".

In the Buzi river basin in Sofala Province the "situation was becoming critical" as discharges from the Chicamba dam joined rainwater from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

The INGC said that it estimated that about 900 mt of maize, one of Mozambique's staple foods, would be brought into the central region for distribution. So far 1,22 mt of food had been delivered.


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