After several weeks of logistical problems hampering the aid operation in Mozambique, the Red Cross has this past week managed to get relief to 37,500 people. Inaccessibility to flooded areas, lack of transport and bad weather have severely hampered aid efforts. But improved conditions this week have allowed supplies of tents, plastic sheeting, blankets and jerry cans to reach a much greater number of homeless people, most of them in the southern provinces of Maputo and Gaza.
Further north, in Sofala and Inhambane provinces, continued heavy rainfall has virtually stopped aid from being distributed and the forecast is for more rain. An International Federation project, through the German Red Cross, to chlorinate 2,500 wells in Nova Mambone in Inhambane province has had to be put on hold because of the non-stop downpours. As long as the relatively good weather holds out in the southern provinces, the Red Cross is hoping to assist an estimated 42,000 vulnerable people next week. Everywhere, more and more volunteers are being recruited for the Mozambique Red Cross. Essential to the relief operation, they are being trained in particularly affected areas such as Macia, Maputo and along the Save river, where conditions continue to be very bad.
Meanwhile, the battle to prevent an epidemic of waterborne diseases is continuing. Long term water sanitation projects have begun. In Chokwe, a six-month programme to build new wells and reconstruct old ones is underway. Field hospitals have also been set up, providing essential medical care in a country where many health centres have been badly damaged. The Federation will begin work on a long term plan for the country, as soon as crops are planted in mid-April. Seeds and agricultural equipment will arrive shortly in Beira, where the Red Cross is helping up to 5,000 people. The ICRC is providing logistical support for the relief operation in Beira.
WEEKLY NEWS IS PUBLISHED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
17 Chemin des Crêts, Geneva
Tel: (41 22) 730 4222
Fax: (41 22) 733 0395