Saturday, March 13, 2010

Flood situation in Mozambique 'under control' via IRIN: Rivers throughout central and northern Mozambique are swollen above flood alert level and thousands of people have been relocated to higher ground, but national disaster management authorities and aid agencies in Mozambique say "the situation is under control". After weeks of torrential rain in Mozambique and its regional southern African neighbours, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) indicated that 130,000 people were living in risk zones and could be forced to move if water levels kept rising.

A Red Alert was declared on 9 March for the basins of the Zambezi, Pungue, Buzi and Licungo rivers, but the Representative of the UN Children's Agency (UNICEF), Leila Pakkala, who is responsible for coordination in the Humanitarian Country Team, said the government and aid partners had started moving people pre-emptively. "Thirteen thousand people have already been moved to secure areas," she told IRIN. Although the rain was expected to diminish, they were still "closely monitoring the situation in affected areas to ensure needs are identified and immediately addressed".

The cholera season in central Mozambique is at its peak; given the large populations moving through cholera-affected areas to get to places of safety, Mozambique's Provincial Health Directorate has warned of possible outbreaks in the new accommodation centres.

Pakkala said cholera prevention and response activities - like the rehabilitation of water systems, water chlorination, and informing people that they should adopt hygienic habits - were already ongoing. "Supplies have been dispatched from the pre-positioned locations by the Red Cross and UN partners," she said…..

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