Mozambican and humanitarian officials are surveying the damage done by Tropical Cyclone Favio. Last week’s storm added to the flooding Mozambique was already experiencing. But early warnings about the storm may have helped limit the number of casualties.
VOA correspondent Scott Bobb is currently in Mozambique. He’s in the town of Caia, about one thousand kilometers northeast of the capital, Maputo. He spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about what he’s seen so far.
“The waters are still flooding along the Zambezi River Basin. You see especially flood fields. The waters have begun to recede a bit. But of course most of the houses were made of mud and sticks or straw and sticks. And they have disappeared. Entire villages have gone. Many of these were people living on large islands in the middle of the river. We’re told that between 100,000 and 120,000 people have been displaced. And they are in dozens of camps in the four provinces of this region,” says Bobb.
Regarding the humanitarian situation, Bobb says, “At this point, they’re still having to even airlift food to some of the remote areas because the roads are still cut off. And now that the waters are becoming lower, boats can’t reach some of the places. So, there’s still a lot of airlifting going on. There are more helicopters now…. Long term, because these groups have lost their crops, they’re going to have to feed and support, some of them at least, for several months they expect. And then you have the whole issue of education. Schools have been lost…so they’re putting in temporary schools using large tents or trying to bolster capacity with schools that were not damaged.”
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza has visited the flooded areas, including Caia on Monday.