Mozambique News Agency


Floods update - 16th March 2001


Flood appeal brings in $11 million

Maputo, 16 Mar (AIM) - So far the international community has disbursed some 11 million US dollars in response to the Mozambican government's appeal for aid intended for the flood victims in the country's central regions.

In February the government put at about 36.5 million US dollars the amount needed for flood victims in the provinces of Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia, and for the repair of essential infrastructure.

Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Friday, the director of the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), Silvano Langa, said that the cash is flowing in, and that the sum he mentioned has already been confirmed.

Money pledged last May at the Rome donor conference in the aftermath of the floods of February 2000 is also being channelled in.

The situation in the Zambezi valley is improving, said Langa, thanks mainly to the fact that the Kariba dam, which is jointly managed by Zambia and Zimbabwe, has only been discharging water from two of its floodgates since Tuesday - last week it had four floodgates open.

However, the real impact will only be felt throughout the Zambezi valley within the next four to five days, he said. The Cahora Bassa dam in Mozambique's Tete province has also reduced its discharges - from 8,420 cubic metres per second on Tuesday to 7,371 on Thursday. Four of the eight Cahora Bassa floodgates are open or partly open.

Meanwhile, relief operations are still underway along the Zambezi valley. The Mozambican navy on Thursday evacuated over 300 people from dangerous areas in Marromeu and Chinde districts, near the river delta, to higher ground.

Foodstuffs are still being ferried to the flood victims in government-run accommodation centres by aircraft and boats, added Langa.

However, the road from Beira to Caia, on the south bank of the Zambezi, has been re-opened, which means that most relief aid can be transported by land at least as far as Caia town, where the emergency operational headquarters is located.

But from there foodstuffs will continue to be transported by air or by boat, he said, adding that this is a handicap since aircraft and boats can only transport small quantities. (AIM)


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