News / Africa

Flooding in Mozambique Displaces Hundreds of Thousands

Baby Rofinho was born on the night floodwaters engulfed his family's home in Guija, southern Mozambique. His mother gave birth on the roof of her house. (Jinty Jackson for VOA)Baby Rofinho was born on the night floodwaters engulfed his family's home in Guija, southern Mozambique. His mother gave birth on the roof of her house. (Jinty Jackson for VOA)
x
Baby Rofinho was born on the night floodwaters engulfed his family's home in Guija, southern Mozambique. His mother gave birth on the roof of her house. (Jinty Jackson for VOA)
Baby Rofinho was born on the night floodwaters engulfed his family's home in Guija, southern Mozambique. His mother gave birth on the roof of her house. (Jinty Jackson for VOA)

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
Torrential rains continue to cause flooding in large areas of Mozambique affecting 238,000 people and of those 186,000 have been forced to flee their homes for safety.  Both the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers have burst their banks and humanitarian agencies are working in clusters to provide assistance and shelter to the homeless.

Dorothy Francis is an emergency expert of the International Federation of the Red Cross’s Disaster and Crisis team.  She is helping to coordinate relief efforts for those displaced by the flooding in southern Mozambique and said the flooding is still concentrated in the Gaza Province.
Francis described the situation of the displaced as “living in the open, under trees and seeking refuge wherever they can.  In addition to that we now have the rains beginning in central Mozambique in the Zambezia area.  And here we have currently 33,000 people and the forecast is for more rain in the coming days.  So it’s not getting better it seems to be getting worse.”

Francis said right now the Red Cross is conducting extensive water, sanitation and health activities.  She explained, “we are providing more sanitation support in transit camps, in Chokwe in particular, where we are spraying to keep down the breeding of mosquitoes; helping with the construction of latrines; helping with the removal of waste and giving what we call hygiene promotion classes.”  Francis said the classes help teach people how to keep their hands clean, how to handle food and how to take care of their children.

The Red Cross is also distributing mosquito nets because of the high rate of malaria in the country.  “We’re doing epidemic surveillance and some epidemic control; watching the trends to see if we’re seeing higher incidences of malaria”, explained Francis who added “there have been some reports of cholera, which of course the government is unwilling to state. They’re still calling it water diarrhea. But it is cholera.  It’s not a high incident.  And again cholera is endemic so we’re not alarmed at incidences.  It’s natural for this to happen in this sort of environment.”   

Those that suffer the most of course are the most vulnerable, the female single head of the household; those with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; households headed by children, and the elderly. Francis said these groups of people are their priority for relief aid.

“We are going to be running a six month operation which will just focus on interventions and water health, and shelter. The government is doing the best they can.  They have provided a large area for people to congregate.  But there are no formal shelters that people can go to.  So it’s pretty dire,” explained Francis.

Francis said humanitarian aid agencies are coordinating relief efforts in what they describe as a cluster system.  The system allows each sector of of aid relief, whether it is a water and sanitation cluster; health; logistics; or shelter cluster, to all be coordinated from a central location. Francis explained this type of structure helps ensure that gaps are covered and there is no duplication of effort.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid