45 people have died in the storms and floods which have hit parts of northern Mozambique since the start of the current rainy season in October.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on 5 February, the director of the National Operational Emergency Centre (CENOE), Mauricio Xerinda, said that the deaths were caused by high winds, lightning strikes, and floods resulting from torrential rains.
Since October, the number of people affected by flooding is around 26,000. Over this period, 1,202 houses have been destroyed and a further 3,941 have been damaged.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on 17 June announced that US$374 million will be disbursed to fight these diseases in Mozambique. The Global Fund, the Ministry of Health, the US-based charity World Vision, and one of Mozambique’s main NGOs, the Community Development Foundation (FDC) all signed a memorandum of understanding on the use of this grant.
Hidroeletrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi river, has announced that it will spend 480 million meticais (US$14 million) on protecting HCB transmission lines from the effects of flooding.
This protection will involve strengthening the pylons on or near river banks. Broader and deeper foundations for the pylons will be built, which will be able to withstand the force of the waters during peak moments of a flood.
The Mozambican and Japanese governments signed an agreement in Maputo on 19 March under which Japan will donate 10,000 tonnes of rice, valued at US$6.2 million.
The rice is commercial food aid. The money raised by selling the rice will be channelled into the building of infrastructures.
The programme will be coordinated by the Mozambican Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Health Ministry on 16 March confirmed an outbreak of dengue fever in the northern province of Nampula.
Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever, is a disease caused by the dengue virus which is carried by mosquitoes of the aedes genus, mainly the species aedes aegypti (different from the anopheles mosquito which carries malaria).
The disease causes fever, headaches, muscle and joint pains and a skin rash. It is not normally fatal, unless it develops into dengue haemorrhagic fever.
The international ratings agency Moody’s on 9 February stated that the heavy rains and flooding that have hit the centre and north of Mozambique are likely to cut between 0.2 and 0.5 per cent from its 2015 forecast of 7.5 per cent growth in GDP.
About 160,000 people were severely affected by the flooding in the central province of Zambezia with the reported death toll reaching 159.
President Filipe Nyusi on 19 February met with the Emergency Group on Cholera, which briefed him on the current state of the cholera outbreaks in Tete, Nampula and Niassa provinces.
Among the group were the Ministers of Health and of State Administration, Nazira Abdula and Carmelita Namashalua, and the director of the country’s relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC), Joao Ribeiro.
Mozambique’s National Demining Institute (IND) on 6 November formally concluded mine clearance in the southern province of Inhambane.
Over the past 16 years, 6.5 million square metres in the province has been cleared of land mines, and released for productive activities. 570 land mines and other items of unexploded ordnance were destroyed over this period, and 12,000 munitions of various calibres were removed.
The Mozambican government is expanding the national food fortification programme in line with its commitment to reducing malnutrition.
On 2 May the Ministry of Industry and Trade delivered equipment to two food processing factories in Beira.
Vitamin A will be added to vegetable oil, and the food processing company MEREC will fortify food with iron, zinc, folic acid and B-complex vitamins.
The flood surge down the Incomati River in southern Mozambique on 9 March reached Manhica district, about 80 kilometres north of Maputo, and was lapping at the edges of the country’s main north-south highway.
Water was on both sides of the main road, near the 3rd February village – the same spot where the river has submerged the road during several previous rainy seasons.
Mozambique could be free of anti-personnel land mines by the end of this year, according to the head of operations of the National Demining Institute (IND), Antonio Martins.
Speaking at a Maputo seminar, intended to draw up plans for assisting land mine victims, Martins said that in 2013, 592 areas suspected of containing land mines, and covering a total area of 9.33 million square metres, were demined.
Heavy rains in the central province of Zambezia have forced 110 families to leave their homes in the districts of Mocuba and Maganja da Costa.
According to Maria Luciano, the Zambezia provincial delegate of the country’s relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC), 80 of those families came from the town of Mocuba.
The flood victims are being temporarily housed in premises owned by the publicly owned ports and rail company, CFM.
The Mozambican government and the European Union on 7 August launched a programme on accelerating progress towards achieving the first of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDGs are the set of goals, agreed by world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, which should be achieved by 2015. The first of these is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and the key targets are to reduce by half, between 1990 and 2015, the percentage of people with an income of less than one US dollar a day, and the percentage of people suffering from hunger.
The Australian government is to provide, via the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), $3 million to support demining programmes under way in Mozambique.
This financial aid will be channelled over the next three years to the three humanitarian agencies working on mine clearance. The purpose is to ensure that all known minefields are cleared of mines by 2014 – this is the deadline for Mozambique to complete demining under the Ottawa Convention outlawing anti-personnel land mines.
The Mozambican government has set itself the ambitious task of reducing the rate of chronic malnutrition (stunting) among children under the age of five from the current figure of 44 per cent to 20 per cent by 2015.
Deputy Health Minister Nazira Abdula announced this target on 15 March at the launch of the National Committee for Fortifying Foodstuffs (CONFAM), which aims to fortify a range of foods by adding the micronutrients that many Mozambicans currently do not obtain in their diet.
Flood waters of the Incomati River swept across Mozambique’s main north-south highway on 21 January, cutting Maputo off from the north and centre of the country for three days. The Incomati was swollen by the torrential rains dumped on southern Mozambique, Swaziland and parts of South Africa by tropical depression “Dando” on 16 and 17 January.
The Japanese government is to provide Mozambique with rice valued at $7.1 million under an agreement signed in Maputo on 10 January by Mozambican Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Koloma and Japanese ambassador Eiji Hashimoto.
The rice is commercial food aid – that is, it will be sold on the Mozambican market through the normal commercial channels, and the money raised will then be spent on various social development programmes, agreed between the two governments.
For Mozambique to become more competitive, it is fundamental that the country should invest in improving the efficiency of its agricultural production, according to the National Director of Agricultural Extension, Momed Vala.
Speaking to AIM on 20 September, Vala noted that, on average, South African farmers produce six to seven tonnes of hybrid maize per hectare, but the figure does not exceed four tonnes per hectare in Mozambique.
According to the director of Mozambique’s National Institute of Support to Refugees, Marcos Namashulua, there have been no formal requests for repatriation from Rwandan refugees.
Mozambique hosts 1,242 Rwandan refugees, of whom: 663 live in Maputo; 446 are in Maratane in the northern province of Nampula; 130 live in the city of Nampula; two are in Gaza province; and one is in Niassa province.
Most sought asylum in Mozambique during the 1990’s due to persecution in their homeland.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Antonio Limbau said in Maputo on 10 March that the country's food and nutritional security must be "deeply improved".
Speaking at the launch of a new agricultural and food statistical information system, Limbau said that according to the latest survey results about 37 per cent of all households in Mozambique experience hunger at some period during the year.
"These numbers concern us", he said.