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Floods continue in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia

Country Map - Mozambique (Limpopo, Buzi and Save Rivers) IRIN
Heavy rains and severe floods are continuing to wreak havoc across large parts of Southern Africa, leaving thousands displaced and homeless. Mozambique In an international aid appeal launched on Friday, the Mozambican government said that so far 77,000 people had been displaced and about 389,000 affected. It said that many roads in the centre of the country had become impassable, wells in rural and peri-urban areas had been flooded and the sanitary conditions in urban centres had deteriorated. The government has appealed for US $30 million for flood relief efforts. In its latest update the UN Resident Coordinator's Office (UNRCO) said that in response to the appeal, Spain had announced a donation of US $200,000 through WFP to fund air operations for the distribution of food and emergency relief goods on the Zambezi valley. It said that Australia had also donated US $135,000 to WFP's transportation costs. USAID said in its latest update that Germany (US $500,000), the Netherlands (US $1 million), Portugal (US $250,000), Sweden (US $30,000) and the United Kingdom (US $800,000) had provided assistance in response to the floods. The Italian government said on Monday that it would give 40 mt of aid to Mozambique within the next two days, AFP reported. The shipment would comprise medicine, blankets, clothes, high-protein food and rubber dinghies. The UNRCO said the key issues at the moment were that the only road to Caia near the Malawi border and the port city of Beira was deteriorating; many residents in the Zambezi valley were refusing to be evacuated; and rain was continuing to fall in the Zambezi catchment area. It added that rain was expected to continue at least until Thursday. In the central Zambezia province, the update said that because of the changing situation, the numbers of the displaced and affected population was "unclear". It added that WFP was currently feeding 67,400 people at 19 centres in the province. The government said on Monday that it wanted to evacuate more than 100,000 people from low-lying regions of the Zambezi valley. Zimbabwe In its situation report the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the floods had hit the northeastern province if Mashonoland Central, near the Mozambican border and to a lesser extent the southeastern province of Masvingo. In Mashonoland Central the worst hit districts were Muzarabani where an estimated 10,000 people had been affected and Chadereka where 5,700 had been displaced. "An estimated 12,000 people are predicted to be in need of assistance," OCHA said. In Masvingo province, which is already severely affected by drought, the floods are expected to "exacerbate" the need for food assistance, the update said. OCHA noted that prior to the floods an estimated 500,000 people needed some sort of food aid. The update warned that the floods were also posing a serious health threat. "Due to a lack of clean water sources, floods are posing a serious health threat. This is aggravated by the current lack of medical stocks in Zimbabwe," said OCHA. Malawi An estimated 220,000 people have so far been affected by the floods in Malawi, a government official was quoted in Malawi news reports as saying on Monday. Vice-President Justin Malewezi said the floods were a "human tragedy" and had affected 13 of the country's 27 districts. Malewezi told state television that food insecurity was the biggest problems facing those affected. "We have transport problems. There are only eight trucks to take the maize to all affected areas. It is not enough," government chief information officer Antony Livuza was quoted as saying. News reports said the government would be meeting with donors in the administrative capital, Lilongwe on Tuesday to present a US $1.5 million aid appeal. Zambia Zambian news reports said on Monday that an estimated 5,000 people had been left homeless and six killed by flooding in the eastern Luangwa valley. Reports said that the situation in the valley had worsened as authorities at the Kariba Dam had been forced to keep two of the dam's four spill way gates open because of the heavy rains. "This has been very disastrous," Deputy Information Minister Fidelis Mando was quoted as saying. Mando said most villagers in the region had lost their crops and the situation would likely get worse when the rains peaked around April.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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