World Bank Assists Mozambique to Assess Flood Damage

News and Press Release
Originally published
News Release No: 2000/270/AFR
Maputo, March 30, 2000 - A preliminary assessment carried out by the World Bank, working in consultation with the government of Mozambique, USAID and other development partners estimates that replacement of losses resulting from the recent floods will range from about US$270 million to US$430 million, depending on the standards used for reconstruction. At this early stage, damage estimates are necessarily tentative. Further studies will be needed to establish a firmer figure. (In the estimates, direct costs refer to physical damage to capital assets and inventories, valued at same-standard replacement costs.)

The flooding devastated flood plain areas in the provinces of Maputo, Gaza, northern Inhambane, Sofala and Manica. According to the Instituto Nacional de Gestao de Calamidades (INGC), currently 640 people have lost their lives due to the flooding and about two million people are experiencing severe economic difficulties, including 490,000 people who are either displaced or trapped in flood-isolated areas.

The report, A Preliminary Assessment of Damage from the Flood and Cyclone Emergency, presents a preliminary damage assessment and estimates reconstruction costs for each of the following sectors:

Agriculture: The floods and cyclones affected substantial areas of agricultural production in southern and central Mozambique, resulting in an estimate of about US$66 million of losses in crops, livestock, and damage to agricultural infrastructure and equipment.

Health: The immediate health impact of the floods is the higher risks of disease (especially cholera and malaria), and damage to health sector infrastructure, hampering its capacity to deliver services. The Ministry of Health's initial assessment indicate total damages of about US$16 million to infrastructure and about US$4 million for equipment, drugs, furniture and other supplies.

Education: Schooling in the affected areas has been officially suspended since March 3, 2000. The disaster affected about 200,000 children, 3,000 teachers, 500 primary schools, 7 secondary schools, 2 technical colleges and the Eduardo Mondlane University. Total direct costs of the disaster to the education system are estimated at US$19 million.

Housing and Private Property: The vast majority of people who lost their homes were extremely poor and lived in the rural areas. Many have lost virtually all of their possessions, including their dwellings. Estimates of the value of damaged and destroyed housing and possessions vary enormously, but it is estimated to approach US$29 million.

Water Supply and Sanitation: Total direct damages to water supply systems in the affected areas amount to approximately US$7 million, with rural systems accounting for about US$3 million. Direct damages to sanitation systems in the affected areas are estimated to total US$6 million.

Energy: Reported energy sector losses total about US$14 million in damage to physical infrastructure, mostly on the Electricidade de Mocambique system in Gaza and Maputo provinces.

Roads: Road damage occurred in all five affected provinces. The total preliminary direct costs for the damage is estimated at US$47 million.

Railways: Damage was very severe along the Limpopo line linking Maputo with Zimbabwe and has affected train traffic that would have carried transit goods for Swaziland and Zimbabwe and Mozambican exports and imports. Immediate works to restore limited rail service are estimated to cost about US$7 million.

Private Sector: Total losses to the private sector are estimated at about US$50 million, including fisheries, industry, trade and tourism. As the private sector consists in numerous actors who compete with one another and are not required to make public disclosures of their financial positions, these estimates have a higher degree of uncertainty than the estimates of public sector losses.

Environment: As rainfall continues and rivers still run at high levels, it has been difficult to carry out a detailed environmental assessment of the disaster. However an estimated US$2 million will be needed to find and remove landmines that have drifted to new locations as a result of the flooding.

The report distinguishes between same-standard replacement costs and optimal standard reconstruction costs. There was a consensus that given Mozambique's high degree of exposure to hydro-meteorological hazards, same-standard replacement is not necessarily the best response to the recent disaster.

The report will be an important contribution to the Government's own overall assessment of the disaster and to an International Donor Conference on reconstruction in Mozambique scheduled for April 26-27, 2000.

Contact Person:
In Maputo: James Coates (Resident Representative) (258-1) 492 841
In Washington: Sharon Cox (202) 473-2035