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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid