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Stewart Sukuma, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, visits flood victims in Mozambique

© UNICEF Mozambique/Naysan Sahba
UNICEF Ambassador Stewart Sukuma (center) speaks with flood evacuees at the accommodation center Chihaquelane, which is overwhelmingly comprised of the most vulnerable population groups, including children and the elderly.

Maputo, 27 January 2013 - The worry and distress of the thousands of people who were forced to leave their homes because of the devastating floods in Gaza Province are terrible to witness, and we must not rest before their suffering has ended, says UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador Stewart Sukuma.

Mr. Sukuma, one of Mozambique’s most famous musicians, made the remarks during a visit to the accommodation center Chiaquelane in Chokwe, a district that has been hard-hit by the flooding of the Limpopo River. Almost 70,000 people have been affected in Gaza, with many out of reach of assistance in inaccessible areas around the province.

Stewart Sukuma brought words of encouragement to the evacuees at Chiaquelane, many of whom are children and have waited for assistance in difficult conditions. He met with local officials, relief workers, as well as evacuees at the camp and conveyed the moral support of the artist community as well as the rest of the nation's.

“I feel deeply affected by the plight of these people, especially the children,” he said. “But we will stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Thankfully, help is coming through.  The government is here.  UNICEF and the UN are here, as are multiple NGO partners. And more help is on its way.  I want to make sure the entire country knows what's happening here, that we all have an imperative to act with urgency.”

In coordination with the government and as part of the One UN response to the situation, UNICEF has dispatched 16 water bladders benefiting an initial 15,000 people. 3000 bars of soap and other basic sanitation and hygiene items have also been dispatched. A hundred tarpaulin sheets for sheltering families have been dispatched, as well as 1100 family kits for
child-headed and other vulnerable families, containing basic household and kitchen items. UNICEF is also distributing high-nutrition biscuits (BP5) for 25,000 people, complementing partner food delivery to displaced families. An initial dispatch of 5000 family bed nets has also been made. Three hospital tents have been delivered. With UNICEF support, community and local radio stations have also been broadcasting key messages on health, hygiene, protection, and related emergency actions.

For more information, please contact:
Gabriel Pereira,
UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org

 

 
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