- Further rain forecast as flood alert remains
- People slowly returning to their homes
- LWF staff return to project areas
Further rain forecast as flood alert remains
A new alert has been issued in the face of a storm system which has formed in the Mozambique Channel, which could bring heavy rains to much of Mozambique and Madagascar in addition to the current flood alert that is still in place, as the end of the rainy season is still two months away.
The Government is trying to permanently relocate thousands of people who fled flooded areas in recent weeks offering people plots of land on higher ground if they agree to move. As Mozambique is home to nine major river systems and prone to seasonal cyclones, it is especially vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Close to 100 people died in the floods and more than 200,000 have been affected. Cholera has broken out in Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique, with 317 cases and 2 deaths recorded to date.
People slowly returning to their homes
Few men are to be found at the Chiquelane camp during the day as many have already returned to the fields, or are protecting their homes and belongings in the flood zones from bandits. However, according to Government officials, the Chiquelane camp is likely to stay open until mid-March. The Ministry of Agriculture’s preliminary assessment indicates about 191,315 ha have been affected by floods, and 166,278 ha of cultivated land destroyed. The most affected province is Gaza, followed by Inhambane and Maputo. While the floods can be expected to have an impact on food security, it is too early to estimate the extent (Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) & Reliefweb)
LWF staff return to project areas
On Tueday the 12 February, LWF staff began to return to Guija, North Chokwe and Mabalane in the Gaza province. Staff working in the Chigubo area returned on the 14th February via an alternative route as the main road remained closed.
Their first task will be to assess the effect the effect that floods have had on the communities in these areas. This information will be collated by senior staff in Maputo and will form the basis of the full ACT Appeal.
LWF Mozambique also:
- is procuring mosquito nets, blankets and kitchen equipment (pots, crockery and utensils)
- is procuring buckets, water purification chemicals and hygiene kits
- is procuring seeds (beans and maize) to supply to LWF project areas
- delivered 632 blankets, clothes and 300 jerry cans to the people in the Chiqualane camp
- is providing information to the ACT forum on the activities of other members
The Government of Mozambique requires all goods to be delivered to a central storage facility from which they organize distribution.
LWF Communication, Coordination & Monitoring
LWF has compiled a joint Situation Report for the ACT members, that was issued on 18 February. Staff continue to attend monitoring meetings daily in Chiquelane and Maputo to monitor the effectiveness of aid and the ongoing situation, raising concerns from the community as they arise. Now that LWF staff are returning to the communities that they were working in before the floods – the same communities that are flood affected – staff will be directly implementing recovery programs. Living and working in these communities, LWF staff will be able to closely monitor the delivery and effectiveness of activities that are aimed at helping people recover from the disaster.
Challenges – Disaster mitigation critical in short and long-term
The Government of Mozambique is trying to prevent a similar disaster from occurring in the future by reviewing the early warning system and relocating people who live in low-lying areas (Reliefweb). Disaster mitigation is also critical to LWF programs moving forward. Over the next few months, LWF Mozambique staff will work with communities in Gaza to determine the best ways to mitigate the future disasters of this kind as a continuation of the development work that was taking place before the floods but also as part of the recovery phase of the response.
Next SITREP due 25th February 2013
Prepared by George Mkanza, LWF Country Representative