Oxfam gears up aid response to floods in Mozambique

Oxfam is gearing up its aid response to the floods in Mozambique with =A3130,000 worth of aid ready to be flown out from its warehouse in Bicester, Oxfordshire. This is part of a =A3320,000 aid package for flood relief in Mozambique.
In the immediate aftermath of the floods the agency gave out =A310,000 worth of household packs that included clothes, food, soap and pans to people in need in flood hit areas of Maputo and Gaza provinces.

"In the city, people whose houses have been washed away or flooded out have gathered in school buildings, mainly in groups of 100-200, they have nothing. The real risk is from an outbreak of cholera or malaria, which is what we will be trying to prevent in the next week or two," said Kate Horne, Oxfam's representative in Mozambique.

According to Oxfam the supply of safe clean water is of utmost priority. The agency has flown out a specialist engineer to see how best the agency can respond. One of the major problems the relief effort faces is that most of the roads have been washed away. Access to the worst hit areas is only by helicopter.

Torrential rains and flooding in Southern Mozambique in recent days have caused havoc, leaving tens of thousands of families homeless. In its latest report on the flooding situation, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that Maputo and the neighbouring province of Gaza are among the most seriously affected areas. This is of grave concern given the high population density of these provinces and their reliance on municipal services.

In capital Maputo, about 100,000 people have been affected by the flooding. In Matola 25 km away, an estimated 80,000 people had been affected by the floods.

In Gaza Province, 5,000 people have needed to be rescued by boat and helicopter from flooded lands, and thousands have had their houses flooded and destroyed by rain. WFP have said that numbers are likely to increase as the level of the Limpopo River rises.

The World Food Programme estimates that 6,975 families in Sofala Province in the east have been affected, with about 34,874 people having to be evacuated. Access to the south of the province is limited with the main road to Maputo in the Chibabava district impassable.

In Inhambane Province to the east of the country, flooding from the Save River had affected Govuro District in the north of the province.

Recent air assessments in the Limpopo river basin have identified huge areas of land which are completely submerged under water, with populations affected thought to be in excess of 200,000 people. It is thought that many water supply systems in this area will have been severely affected.