Mozambique – Heavy Rain Across South and Central Provinces, Flooding Affects Thousands in Sofala


On 26 January Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS) issued a report on the flood situation affecting Mozambique (pdf). The report said:

“Since the beginning of January 2017, heavy seasonal rains have been affecting central and southern provinces in Mozambique. 44 people have died and 79,000 have been affected.”

Quoting local media, ACAPS estimates that as many as 8,162 houses have been destroyed and 21,000 damaged.

In January, around 18,000 people were affected by flooding in the provinces of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane and Nampula.

Areas of Tete and Sofala provinces were also affected. Mozambique’s largest river, the Zambezi, burst its banks on 24 January in the areas around Caia district, in the central province of Sofala. Further downstream, in Marromeu district, the Zambezi surpassed the flood alert level of 5 metres. The Save River overflowed, flooding parts of Machanga district, Sofala, affecting as many as 43,000 people.

Original Report:

Torrential rains falling in central and southern Mozambique have resulted in flooding in Sofala province, leaving thousands cut off in the district of Dondo.

According to analysis by UNITAR-UNOSAT (pdf), precipitation levels between 12 to 18 January reached over 650 mm. Around 5,000 people of Dondo district, Sofala province, are without road communication with the rest of Mozambique.

Moving around the district is only possible by boats according to local media. Several rivers, including the Buzi River in southern Mozambique, have overflowed.

A report by UNITAR-UNOSAT of 19 January says that approximately 600,000 people in Mozambique may have been exposed to over 500 mm of precipitation and 1,000,000 people may be exposed to 300-500 mm of precipitation between 12 and 18 January 2017. Parts of the provinces of Inhambane, Gaza, Manica and Sofala have seen the highest levels of rainfall.

Rainfall in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, 12 to 18 January 2017. Map and image: UNITAR-UNOSAT


The UNITAR-UNOSAT report says that heavy rain has also affected parts of Zimbabwe.

FloodList reported on 16 January that the Marimba River in Budiriro, near the capital Harare, overflowed from its banks after several days of heavy rain. Families were forced to evacuate their homes on 13 January, 2017.

UNITAR-UNOSAT reports that approximately 200,000 people in Zimbabwe may have been exposed to 300-500 mm of precipitation over the last seven days from 12 to 18 January, 2017.

See the full map here (pdf)