UNICEF Mozambique Floods Situation Update, 2 Feb 2008

Major Developments

As of 02 February, water levels along the Zambeze River are stable due to moderate rainfall which has continued over the last 72 hours across the central provinces and in neighbouring countries. However, localised heavy rains are increasing the water levels in the rivers entering the Zambeze valley after the Cahora Bassa dam. The Chire river station has reported that the height of the river is above the record peak experienced during the 2000 floods. The Buzi, and Licungo rivers continue to increase slightly, while the Save, Pungue and Limpopo continue to decrease.

Discharges from the Cahora Bassa Dam continue to be at 4,900 cubic meters per second.

Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to continue in northern and central Mozambique as well as in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia, over the next 72 hours.

The total number of people relocated to resettlement centres across the five provinces affected by flooding now stands at 96,437. Of these, a total of 83,948 are in the Zambeze valley area.

In Mutarara district, due to heavy rainfall and rapid river currents, eight electricity poles have been damaged, leaving Mutarara town without electricity since 1 February. A generator provided by WFP has arrived and will be installed shortly.

The Zambian Government has authorized the Zambezi River Authority to open the flood gates of the Kariba Dam. As per protocol requirements, neighbouring countries have received seven days notice to prepare for the effects of the additional water flows. The water levels are at unprecedented levels and if a second flood gate has to be opened, there can be serious implications for the already flooded districts along the Zambeze Valley.


The Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) report on the government-led, multi-sectoral initial assessment in the flood affected areas has been released on 1 February. The assessment reports inadequate access to food and water and sanitation facilities, as well as to basic services, such as health facilities and medicine in nearly all resettlement centres. An estimated 258,000 people, which includes people in resettlement and transit centres as well as people in surrounding communities, will need immediate assistance until March 2008. A further 226,500 people will require continued food assistance beyond March, until the next harvest expected in June or July. In addition, support in terms of agriculture inputs, education, health, and WASH will be needed until March or the end of the rainy season.

The report further indicates that once the rainy season is over, the following activities will need to be carried out: mapping of flood risk areas; re-assessment of resettlement centres outside the flooded areas; strengthening of coordination and management of Cahora Bassa dam discharges; and support to social protection interventions.

UNICEF Response

Management and coordination

UNICEF and partners are supporting INGC to prepare a training session on registration and data analysis with regards to numbers of resettled people in flood affected areas. As such, training of 15 enumerators will be conducted on 5 February, with a planned deployment of trained enumerators to the field on 8 February to begin implementing their activities. UNICEF and partners will continue to support the enumerators in the field, as the work progresses.

Health and Nutrition

Nutrition screening continues to be carried out by Nutrition Cluster members in coordination with District Health officials in Mutarara and Mopeia. In Mutarara, a total of 1,010 children have been screened in seven centres: 81 were found to be moderately malnourished and six severely malnourished. Corn Soya Blend has been provided to the moderately malnourished children. Therapeutic feeding and PlumpyNut has been received in Mutarara district. In Mopeia, a total of 745 children has been screened so far, with 22 children found to be moderately malnourished and subsequently administered PlumpyNut. While carrying out nutrition screening, approximately 700 children received vitamin A and 782 children received deworming tablets.

In Mutarara district, a total of 160 children have been vaccinated (BCG, polio, DTP, tetanus and measles). Ten women, including some who are pregnant, have been vaccinated against tetanus, while fifteen women received ante-natal care. With technical assistance from UNICEF and partners, the health authorities in Zambezia province provided an orientation training on nutrition screening and delivery of the integrated package (Vitamin A, deworming and immunisation) to the district health team in Mopeia, who will go out next week to conduct nutrition screening and delivery of the integrated package to seven resettlement centres.

Activities and messages around prevention of cholera, malaria and HIV continue to be carried out by mobile multimedia units in resettlement centres in Caia and Mopeia. In addition, community theatre activities covering cholera prevention, hygiene promotion, malaria and HIV prevention are being performed in both districts. Radio spots on cholera prevention, malaria and water treatment are currently being broadcast in Mutarara district.

Water and Sanitation

Repair of hand pumps in Njanjanja and Nkuleche resettlement centres in Mutarara district has been successfully concluded. Siting of additional boreholes and water pumps in the resettlement centres in Mutarara district has been postponed due to increased flooding in the area. UNICEF and partners distributed one water treatment unit with two 10,000 litre water bladders to Murambala in Zambezia provinces.

WASH Cluster partners conducted a meeting to consolidate and coordinate programme activities, and to ensure that activities conducted in Charre and Doa areas of Mutarara district are synergistically planned and implemented. Oxfam and MSF are the two main implementing organisations in Mutarara district; MSF reports to have constructed a total of 238 latrines while Oxfam has started the distribution of WASH supplies in Doa. All activities are being implemented in conjunction with district water authorities, with the support of UNICEF which is providing technical assistance, overall support and supplies to implementing partners.

In Mopeia district, MSF is providing water trucking which has produced 56,000 cubic metres of water so far for the resettlement centre of Zona Verde. In addition 10,000 cubic metres have been produced for the resettlement centre of 24 de Julho. A total of 42 latrines have been completed in the two resettlement centres. Progress is slower than expected in the construction of latrines. UNICEF is working with Public Works to increase community mobilisation for expansion of latrine construction.


Based on additional needs identified in previously un-affected areas, a new distribution plan has been developed and adopted by district education authorities in Caia and UNICEF. The new plan includes school tents for distribution in Doa and Inhangoma where the situation has deteriorated over the last few days.

Two UNICEF school tents have been installed in Sombreiro resettlement centre in Caia district. Eight additional UNICEF school tents for Mutarara district have been dispatched by boat, with an additional two to be transported shortly. In Mopeia district, Cluster co-lead Save the Children Alliance has set up a total of eight school tents in four resettlement centres. UNICEF contributed with additional education supplies, including a total of 1,628 learner's kits and 24 teacher's kits. School tents continue to be delivered to partners for other planned locations and will be set up in the coming days.

UNICEF and Education Cluster partners are conducting complementary awareness raising activities, including training of school cluster coordinators and theatre groups on disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness in Mopeia and Morrumbala districts. Social mobilisation activities around girls' education are being carried out in approximately 20 resettlement centres in flood-affected areas across the Zambeze river basin through mobile multimedia units and support to community theatre groups.


A Protection Working Group, consisting of Action Aid, Help Age International, World Vision and UNICEF, has been set up in Mutarara district to coordinate activities and geographical coverage in the area.

Identification of vulnerable groups, including OVC and female headed households among others, was carried out in Zona Verde and 24 de Julho resettlement centres. So far, 144 OVC (65 boys and 79 girls) have been identified in both centres. A total of 23 female-headed households were also reported in both resettled communities. The identification process will be carried out in other resettlement centres next week.

The Ministry of the Interior, with support from UNICEF and partners, has deployed 383 police officers to five provinces. The Protection Cluster members are following-up to ascertain how many of these have been trained on protection issues and will support the Ministry of the Interior to develop a deployment plan for each resettlement centre.

Logistics and telecommunications support

One 10Mt boat and one 8Mt boat have been made available for the transportation of supplies to and from Mutarara.

UNICEF, as part of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, has purchased ten portable Iridium satellite phones to be used in flood-affected areas on vehicles, boats and other means of transportation.

A team of eight INGC staff members from the flood affected provinces and from Maputo has arrived in Caia for on the spot logistics training. The trainees receive briefings on a daily basis and are stationed at different key logistic posts including fleet management, warehouse management, GIS and UNHAS. They are also stationed at UNICEF and WFP warehouses to provide additional logistics support.

The grounded helicopter is expected to be operational from 5 February. In light of the worsening flood situation, UNHAS has requested a third helicopter scheduled to arrive in Caia next week.

Inter-Agency Collaboration and Key Partnerships

UNICEF and Save the Children Alliance Representatives met with a number of key bilateral partners to provide a situation update on the emergency response and to discuss the immediate and medium-term humanitarian requirements of the four Clusters under Save the Children Alliance / UNICEF coordination in flood-affected districts. Another two meetings are scheduled to take place next week. Overall, the response of the bilateral partners has been positive, with a willingness to support both short term humanitarian actions as well as efforts focusing on long-term sustainable development in the resettlement centres.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Doherty
Emergency Officer
Tel: +258 82 3179160

Communication Specialist
Tel: +258 82 3121820

Annelien Groten
UNICEF Emergency Situation Centre
Tel: +258 84 2354355

Lynda DeGuire
UNICEF Emergency Situation Centre
Tel: +258 82 784 9501