Nations count cost of floods

2015-01-25 15:00

The Mozambican government’s relief agency, the National Institute of Disaster Management, is spending an average of 4?million meticals (R1.3?million) a day in flood relief ­operations in the country’s central and northern provinces, reports

The institute’s deputy director, Casimiro Abreu, saidon Thursday that this money was being spent on “search and rescue operations, humanitarian assistance and fuel for helicopters”. reported that Abreu said food, medicine and shelter equipment was being flown from Maputo to ­Quelimane and Lichinga, the capitals of Zambezia and ­Niassa provinces, respectively, aboard two Antonov transport planes belonging to the country’s air force.

Helicopters then take the relief supplies to the temporary accommodation centres for flood victims, he said.

Abreu estimated the relief agency would need another 232?million meticals to get through the crisis.

The floods have been triggered by torrential rains, and the Mozambican rainy season will continue until the end of March.

In Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, with a population of 16?million, 62 people had been confirmed dead and 153 registered as missing, Reuters reported late on Friday.

In Mozambique, 86 people had lost their lives, the UN reported on Friday.

About 250?000 people have been displaced in the two countries, as well as in Madagascar and Zimbabwe. reports that scores of people from Malawi’s Nsanje District are now stranded in Mozambique.

Nsanje District Commissioner Harry Phiri told the Malawi News Agency: “We have managed to rescue thousands of people in the camps?...?However, the exercise is far from over, as others are still trapped and need to be rescued.

“For example, over 1?000 people from Nyachikadza are stranded in Mozambique and need to be moved,” said Phiri.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has embarked on what it calls a “mercy mission” to Mozambique.

On Thursday, it said it had delivered more than 17 tons of aid – medical supplies, tents and food.

The SANDF said on Defenceweb earlier this week that about 80 air personnel, medics and navy swimmers had been dispatched to Zambezia Province.

City Press joined an SANDF team in Mozambique on Wednesday.

From the air, the devastation is clear.

Entire villages are underwater and people are desperately trying to salvage what they can from the floodwaters.

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