Some time ago I wrote about the horrific flooding that took place in Mozambique in 2000.
In that year, the flooding took place during February and March, and resulted in the forced evacuation of huge numbers of people. Aid and assistance from government of Mozambique and the international community was slow to get through.
Villages and farmland were flooded for days, with crops and livestock destroyed. Over 100,000 families lost their livelihoods. The 2000 floods left 1,500 square km devastated.
Fast forward to 2012 and 2013 and we have a very similar picture. Heavy rains have hit the region and again, horrific floods have been the result. This year the flooding has been longer and even more damaging. In 2013 the floods first began in October 2012, and have continued until April (at least).
I have recently received a report from United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – with some staggering details and statistics on the recent floods in Mozambique. You can see the report here (PDF doc).
According to the report, since these more recent floods began, it is estimated that there have been 97 fatalities due to the floods. Most of these deaths (69) have occurred since January 2013 when the worst of the flooding took place. The OCHA report also estimates that a total of 213,000 people have been affected by the floods, particularly around the area of Gaza province, where it is believed that as many as 140,000 people had to leave their homes as a result of flooding. Many are living in huge makeshift camps of up to 50,000 people, situated on higher ground in order to avoid the flooded, lower areas.
Mozambique has had to look for outside assistance from the international community due to the large scale damage and destruction of the flooding. Relief stocks are low and the resources of the Mozambique government are limited. Over $5 million of aid has been used to help immediate life-saving assistance. However it is estimated that the overall aid to assist the thousands affected by the floods will need to be around $30 million.
Fortunately the cyclone and flood season is almost at an end in the region. Normally the cyclone season lasts from January to April.
Flooding in East Africa has not been restricted to Mozambique. Malawi and Madagascar have also been badly hit. According to Action for Southern Africa:
Floods in southern Malawi have displaced over 33,000 people, leaving many without shelter or clothing. Crops have been destroyed, while over 20 schools have been disrupted, affecting thousands of children.
In Madagascar, Tropical Cyclone Felleng caused the deaths of 9 people, affected 4,958 people, and displaced 1,303 people, all of whom have since returned to their homes. Furthermore, an estimated 162 houses were totally destroyed, 54 partially destroyed, and 670 houses flooded.
The UN estimates 150,000 people in Mozambique have had to leave their homes to escape the floodwaters of the Limpopo river. It has warned that that number could rise. The government says more rain could lead to flooding in other parts of the country. Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa reports from Changalane, one of the worst affected areas