New surge of floods in Mozambique

News and Press Release
Originally published
by Aregentina Matavel in Mozambique
Low-lying southern Mozambican towns are at risk of being flooded for the second time in less than a month as water levels in the Limpopo and Komati rivers (Gaza and Maputo provinces respectively) rose after heavy rains in neighbouring South Africa over the last few days.

Residents of the hard hit Gaza towns of Chokwe and XaiXai as well as neighbouring villages have already been advised to evacuate by Mozambique's national disaster agency.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Mozambican government launched a fresh emergency aid appeal, asking for a further US$100m to cope with the devastating effects of flooding in the south and in the central provinces.

On February the 24th, Mozambique asked for US$65.5m but requirements are now standing at US$160.5m. The first appeal was based on the immediate needs of a then estimated 300 000 people, however, by mid-March this figure has risen to 650 000, of which 450 000 people are displaced.

The displaced are housed in 99 accommodation centres, the largest of which is housing 60 000 people, the smallest approximately 3 000. Emergency food supply over the next 6 months for the 650 000 people is currently the single largest expense item. Next on the list is shelter and an estimated US$22.4m is still needed to provide the displaced with tents and blankets. World Vision's survival and recovery kits are proving vital.

An estimated US$13.2m is required to provide seeds, tools and other agricultural inputs that will allow more than 120 000 affected rural households to resume farming activities once more.

On Monday, traffic on the main south-north road link again came to a standstill some 90 km north of Maputo when the Inkomati was once again in flood, submerging parts of the road. Traffic was however expected to use this stretch of road again before the end of the day. Similarly, the last break in the road in central Sofala at the Mauri river is expected to be repaired by today.

In neighbouring Malawi, following torrential downpours, the Shire river has meanwhile burst its banks and Mozambiquan authorities are watching the situation very closely as the Shire is one of the major tributaries of the Zambezi.