Mozambique humanitarian situation update, 18 February 2008
As of 18 February, the levels of the Zambeze, Buzi, Limpopo, Save, Pungoe and Licungo rivers are decreasing.
Low to moderate rainfall is forecast for 18-20 February over the central provinces of Mozambique, as well as in neighbouring countries Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The total number of people relocated to resettlement centres across the five provinces affected by flooding now stands at 102,486. Of these, a total of 87,969 are in the Zambeze valley area.
Discharges from the Cahora Bassa Dam have decreased to 3,000 cubic metres per second.
A weakened tropical cyclone Ivan is expected to reach the Mozambique channel on the morning of 19 February and there is a possibility that it could strengthen as it enters the warm waters of the Channel. The situation is being monitored carefully.
Security in Southern Mozambique
Following recent events in Maputo City and some security incidents in the provinces of Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane, the Designated Official, (Resident Coordinator) has declared Security Phase 1, as a precautionary measure, for Maputo City and the provinces of Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane effective 18 February.
UNICEF Response to the Zambeze Floods
Management and coordination
Newly trained INGC and CENOE staff members are beginning the registration of displaced people in flood-affected districts from 18 February. Registration will be initially conducted by the trainees in several resettlement centres in Caia to test pilot the registration tools. On 20 February, each of the 14 trainees will lead a team consisting of approximately 30 people, including previously trained staff and government representatives, who will be deployed to all resettlement centres in flood-affected areas to carry out a comprehensive registration process.
The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) is establishing two semi-independent units in Mutarara and Mopeia, which will be responsible for the phasing out of transit centres and relocating people from these centres to resettlement centres. A team is expected to be deployed to Mutarara on 18 February, along with 20 soldiers, who will be based at the Bawe centre.
Health and nutrition
Cholera has been confirmed in Mutarara district from samples taken at both the cholera treatment centre (CTC) in the central hospital and at the CTC in Bawe resettlement centre. Four CTCs are currently operational through support from MSF Belgium and UNICEF. The cumulative number of cases of acute watery diarrhoea (from which samples were clinically diagnosed as cholera) now stands at 621. While the outbreak is said to be under control in Charre and Vila Nova da Fronteira CTCs, new cases continue to be recorded in Mutarara central hospital and the Bawe CTC as well as at health posts in neighbouring villages which are currently inaccessible by road. So far, ten deaths have been reported.
UNICEF and the Grupo de Teatro do Oprimido (GTO) are conducting social mobilisation training for theatre groups in cholera-affected resettlement centres. The training focuses on cholera prevention activities and upon finalisation of the training, performances will be conducted in the resettlement centres. An additional session focused on raising cholera awareness was also conducted with local Disaster Management Committee members, CVM activists and GTO actors in Bawe resettlement centre which is the source of the majority of cases. The session included the distribution of cholera prevention materials and discussions on ways to strengthen hygiene promotion and behaviour change activities. UNICEF provided technical support and shared tools and guidelines for monitoring of activities.
Of 63,800 LLINs distributed to district hubs, UNICEF and partners have confirmed delivery of 32,358 nets directly to families resettled in the affected areas. An additional 21,000 nets have been procured by UNICEF and Cluster partners and will be distributed in Caia, Marromeu and Morrumbala districts.
Nutritional screening activities are ongoing in resettlement centres in seven flood-affected districts. Of more than 5,575 children under-five screened, approximately 10 per cent were found to be moderately malnourished and one per cent of children were diagnosed as severely malnourished. All malnourished children have been enrolled in supplementary feeding programmes as required.
Water and sanitation
In Mopeia district UNICEF and MSF have installed a water bladder (5,000 litres) in Zona Verde resettlement centre, providing safe drinking water to approximately 2,500 people. Additional water trucking is providing an estimated 40,000 litres of water to Zona Verde and 24 de Julho resettlement centres.
Distribution of WASH supplies continues throughout the flood-affected areas. To date a total of 35,000 bars of soap, 28,000 bottles of certeza and nearly 60,000 water purification sachets have been distributed. In addition, UNICEF has distributed 10 water bladders, 20,000 jerry cans and approximately 7,000 buckets.
A ‘behaviour change communication’ guide for social mobilisation activists has been finalised and will be distributed to partners in all flood-affected areas. The guide will be used by activists to promote behaviour change activities (cholera, malaria and HIV prevention, promotion of education and prevention of violence against children) simultaneously with the distribution of WASH, health, education and protection supplies.
The Education Cluster partners have agreed to adopt a three-phased approach to education activities in flood-affected districts: (1) Distribution of all education materials to schools as per the master distribution plan agreed with district education authorities; (2) Monitoring the implementation of activities, including distribution of text books by the Ministry of Education, using a monitoring checklist devised in coordination with all partners in order to ascertain remaining gaps. This phase will also include provision of additional IEC materials on emergency preparedness and response; and (3) assessments of school infrastructure for longer-term rehabilitation support.
The Education Cluster partners, in collaboration with district education authorities, are continuing to distribute UNICEF educational materials according to the agreed geographic coverage for each. Some partners, such as Save the Children and Action Aid have also procured a small number of materials in order to meet additional needs. In total, 78,349 learners’ kits, 810 teachers’ kits, 195 school kits and 58 tents pre-positioned by UNICEF have reached the flood-affected areas.
Schools are being used as an additional platform to disseminate health information through provision of cholera pamphlets in order to prevent further acute watery diarrhoea outbreaks. Education Cluster partners are also working closely with WASH Cluster partners to ensure that latrines are constructed adjacent to temporary learning spaces established through provision of school tents.
The Protection Cluster partners continue to consolidate data received from district social action authorities and partners working in resettlement and transit centres on numbers of vulnerable groups, including orphans, elderly headed households and the disabled. The data is providing the basis for distribution of OVC kits, training and sensitisation activities around child rights and establishment of Child Friendly Spaces.
A detailed police deployment plan has been shared by the Civil Protection Unit of the Ministry of the Interior with UNICEF for onward sharing with Protection Cluster partners. The plan includes the locations of an additional 123 police officers who are being deployed to resettlement centres to ensure protection of the displaced, particularly women and children. Either two or three police officers will be stationed at each centre.
Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) have been established by Cluster co-lead Save the Children Alliance with support from UNICEF in Zona Verde and 24 de Julho resettlement centres in Mopeia district. A further 25 CFS will be established and UNICEF is providing recreational kits for each location.
Logistics and telecommunications support
A third helicopter arrived in Caia on 12 February to provide additional capacity for air operations. Currently, all three helicopters are operating full-time. The Logistics Cluster is managing a total of three helicopters, nine trucks and eight boats. All transport means, with support from the Logistics Cluster, are being used by UNICEF to ensure distribution of supplies to resettlement centres as quickly as possible.
A VSAT ground station was installed at the CENOE office in Caia. The installation and equipment were provided by the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster lead WFP. This is part of a larger initiative to provide permanent internet and voice connectivity for all four INGC Emergency Operations Centres in Mozambique.
Inter-agency collaboration and key partnerships
All clusters continue to meet on a regular basis to share information on the situation and to coordinate the emergency response in the flood-affected areas. Tools have been developed to monitor implementation, geographical coverage and distribution of supplies for each Cluster.
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