Mozambique humanitarian situation update, 8 March 2010
The Government of Mozambique is considering the option of declaring Red Alert starting from the afternoon of 9 March 2010, in light of the current localised flooding in parts of the country due to heavy rainfalls in Mozambique and in neighbouring Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The Central Emergency Operations Centre (CENOE) held a meeting on 5 March 2010 with focal points from each line ministry, relevant government institutions and the Humanitarian Clusters to provide updates on the situation and response in areas affected by the localised flooding.
The level of the Zambezi River rose sharply overnight and water levels are above the alert level in Zumbo (6.06m at 6:00h on 7 March), Mutarara (5.20m at 6:00h on 7 March), Caia (6.07m at 6:00h on 7 March), and Marromeu (5.80m at 6:00h on 7 March). Since March 5, output from the Cahora Bassa dam has been at 4,600 cubic meters per second, and will continue until 15 March; this discharge will create capacity to catch further discharge from the Kariba dam in Zambia (around 1,500 cubic meters per second staring from 15 March).
The water level of the Pungoé River is above the alert level but continues to decrease. The water level was reported at 8.25 m in Mafambisse at 6:00h on 7 March. The EN 6 road is becoming impassable at several locations. Initial inundations are reported in Motua (Dondo) and Tica (Nhamatanda). The Buzi River reached the alert level in Dombe and Goonda.
The water level of the Messalo River is close to the alert level but is likely to decrease in the coming hours as the rainfall is predicted to decrease substantially. The Lugenda River has reached the alert level, causing partial inundations of the EN 14 road.
The water levels of the Maputo, Umbeluzi, Incomati and Limpopo rivers are stable and below the alert level.
According to the National Meteorological Institute (INAM) moderate to heavy rainfalls are expected over the period 6-15 March in Zambezia, Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces. Moderate to heavy rains are expected in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe over the same period.
Based on preliminary figures, provided by the National Emergency Operations Centre (CENOE), 210 families (1,050 people) have been affected by the initial inundation in Namathanda district; of these, 613 people have been evacuated to a temporary shelter located in Mufu village. An additional 45 families are currently accommodated in the cultural centre of Buzi. The EN 6 road has become impassable between Mafambisse and Tica villages.
The Ministry of Women and Social Action (MMAS) reported that 20 houses built for child headed households had been flooded. The Ministry of Education (MINED) reported that one primary school is currently being used as a temporary shelter by affected families (figures are not known); however classes are continuing on a regular basis (families leave the school premises in the morning and come back after school hours).
No epidemic outbreak has been registered so far in the accommodation centres, however the Provincial Health Directorate (DPS) is reporting a significant movement of cholera-affected population. DPS is requesting partners to provide calcium hypochlorite.
An assessment, undertaken by the provincial authorities, is ongoing in the affected areas. 74 tents have been set up. INGC has provided 160L of gasoline and 70L of diesel to Nhamatanda to support the rescue operations; 1 borehole has been repaired with the assistance of DPOPH Sofala; 500 bottles of Certeza were distributed, as well as 25 buckets, 10 plastic latrine slabs and 10 plastic sheeting.
The Army has sent 2 boats to Buzi and Dondo villages to strengthen the response capacity. Mosquito nets have been provided (no figures on the quantities); some food and NFI have been distributed in the temporary shelter of Buzi.
Chiramba village (Chemba district) is currently isolated from the rest of the province due to the inaccessibility of the road. Around 1,300 families (6,500 people) need humanitarian assistance.
UNICEF, in coordination with partners and other agencies, is closely monitoring and assessing the situation in the affected areas to ensure that needs are identified and immediately addressed. Requests from partners are being processed on an expedited basis, both in the provision of cash advance for procurement of supplies as well as in the mobilisation of items in UNICEF and partner warehouses.
Coordination and assessment
A UNICEF team is being deployed in the affected districts to review ongoing response of partners in localised areas and identify the basic needs of evacuated populations, especially children and women. The team will be in contact with the local authorities and organizations that have been working in support of the small scale response, and the Mozambican Red Cross, for information sharing and coordination of sectoral/cluster efforts. Given the small scale nature of the emergency to-date, interagency assessments HCT from the national level are not required at this juncture
Supply and programmatic response
All programme sections are in contact with their respective counterparts in the field:
Health: Cholera prevention measures are being supported in the affected areas to avoid a cholera outbreak. UNICEF is currently following up with health authorities to ensure cholera treatment services are available in the event of an outbreak in affected districts. 100 boxes of calcium chlorine were sent to Nhamatanda district on 6 March.
Water and Sanitation: A field assessment will take place starting from 8 March to outline the additional assistance the water authorities may need to ensure adequate support to the displaced population.
Protection and Education: Both sections are liaising with their counterparts to ensure that i) children have uninterrupted access to school facilities; and ii) children and women are protected from any risk of abuse and violence.
Communication for Development: Partners have been contacted. GTO theatre groups, community radios, Radio de Moçambique, mobile units have been mobilised, with presence in nine affected districts (Mopeia, Morrumbaia, Chinde, Mutarara, Zumbo, Tambara, Caia, Marromeu, Chemba) in four provinces.
Inter-Agency Collaboration and Key Partnerships
The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) will call for an ad-hoc meeting to discuss the current situation. In addition, Clusters will be conducting meetings during the week to provide updates on their respective sector interventions.
For more information please contact: