Mozambique flooding hits thousands as churched step up assistance

By staff writers
February 16, 2007

Flooding in Mozambique has forced tens of thousands from their homes along the Zambezi river valley, following weeks of heavy rain, report development agencies and church networks.

According to the latest Mozambique government figures, at least 60,000 people have now fled low-lying areas, and up to 500,000 have been affected as homes and crops are washed away. So far, the administration and local agencies are said to be coping well with the crisis.

The Mozambican government’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) is co-ordinating relief efforts, including the evacuation by boat or helicopter of those most at risk.

Local relief and development groups, including the ecumenical body, the Christian Council of Mozambique (CCM), are giving direct assistance to those who have lost their homes.

This work is being supported by Action by Churches Together (ACT), an international Christian network associated with the Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC).

Action by Churches Together has so far sent 50,000 US dollars to enable local partners to transport stockpiles of disaster kits to 8,000 families in the worst affected areas.

Meanwhile, the Christian Council of Mozambique is working in the districts of Mopeia and Chinde in central Mozambique, distributing shelter materials, blankets, clothes, pans and water buckets.

Christian Aid, the UK-based international relife, development and advocacy agency, with works with CCM, announced yesterday (15 February 2007) that it is ready to step up its response if heavy rains continue.

"The Mozambique government is coping well so far," said Christian Aid’s country representative in Mozambique, Andrew Clayton. "The main concern is whether they will have the ability to cope with a major evacuation if things suddenly get worse."

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