Global perspective Human stories

Mozambique bracing for worsening impact from deadly floods – UN aid agencies

Mozambique bracing for worsening impact from deadly floods – UN aid agencies

United Nations humanitarian officials are warning that the situation inside Mozambique, which has been devastated by severe flooding in recent weeks, is likely to only worsen in the days ahead.

Already 29 people have been killed and more than 68,000 others left homeless by flooding across southern Africa that has hit Mozambique hardest because many of the region’s rivers finish their journey there.

Heavy rain is persisting in the areas that feed the Zambezi River, which runs through central Mozambique, leading officials to estimate that as many as 285,000 people may eventually have to move to higher ground.

So far nearly 5,000 homes have been destroyed, along with at least 100 schools and health centres and about 15,000 hectares of crops – just two months before the annual harvest season.

Flooding has also struck Angola, Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but Mozambique has been hit the hardest.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is working with the Mozambican Government to respond to the floods, considered the worst in six years to strike the country.

As the situation deteriorates in some parts of central Mozambique, officials have warned that forced evacuations may become necessary.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has begun distributing 300 tons of food rations to 2,000 survivors who have gathered in Mutara, one of the hardest hit areas, while the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has sent its first shipment of relief supplies to Caia, in Sofala province.