Mozambique: Torrential rains in Nampula: over 50 dead and over 200,000 in dire need

Intermittent heavy rains continue to castigate the northern province of Nampula causing the death toll and the number of people in need of emergency assistance to climb alarmingly in the past few days.
Emergency Committee's spokesperson Antonio Pombal says, "Fifty-four deaths have so far been confirmed and approximately 224,000 people are now considered to be at grave risk of starvation and epidemics due to the deterioration of living conditions, including their health and sanitation status, and the loss of their livelihoods in the areas hardest hit by the rains." It is feared the death toll could rise even higher as authorities look into fresh reports indicating that dozens of people might also have been killed after food shortages allegedly forced them to resort to the consumption of poisonous plants for their survival. Such reports have not as yet been confirmed and investigations involving both government and non-government partners such as World Vision-Mozambique continue.

Meanwhile Nampula's Provincial Government warns that despite all on going emergency efforts, based mostly on local interventions, aid currently available only accounts for just over ten per cent of the province's total needs. "We estimate that we'll need assistance in the region of 400,000 dollars to somehow allow for a return to some form of normality," Mr Pombal revealed. This would entail the channeling of technical, in-kind and financial support towards food and shelter assistance, water and sanitation and the rehabilitation or reconstruction of roads and schools. "46,000 houses and over 400 classrooms have been destroyed," Pombal says,. "As for crop fields and roads, the damage is such that we are still counting."