Oxfam sends aid to flood-hit Mozambique

By mborum

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BEIRA, MOZAMBIQUE -- On Thursday 15 February, the international relief agency Oxfam will deliver aid to Mozambique, where thousands of people have been displaced by severe flooding.

Heavy rains are forecast to continue in the region this week, threatening to worsen the situation of up to 285,000 people living in vulnerable areas.

Oxfam will provide 14 tons of water, sanitation and hygiene equipment.

A plane will leave the East Midlands airport in the UK at 12 noon on Thursday 15 February and is expected to arrive in Beira, in Mozambique, on Friday, with enough equipment to provide for the needs of 25 000 people. Water pumps, water containers, pipes, water treatment chemicals, jerry cans for water collection, buckets, 1,000 bed nets and 2,000 hygiene kits will be on board.

“As flood levels keep rising our main concern is the lack of clean water and sanitation facilities in many of the evacuation centres where up to 70,000 people are taking shelter. In these conditions the threat of diarrhoea, malaria and cholera needs to be addressed immediately,” explained Fabio Fussi, head of Oxfam’s humanitarian response in Mozambique.

The floods along the river Zambezi have cut off many communities, making access difficult for government and humanitarian agencies. The most affected areas are the provinces of Tete, Sofala, Manica and Zambezia. Oxfam teams are now in Caia (6,500 displaced people) ready to start the installation of emergency water systems and sanitation facilities as soon as possible.

"There are 1,900 people living in this camp in very basic conditions. They are mainly women and children, who were evacuated by boat and couldn’t take much with them,” said Caroline Hooper Box, an Oxfam aid worker in the Chupanga evacuation camp.

“Many men have stayed behind to look after the livestock, but crops may be more difficult to save” Hooper Box added. “The maize fields we saw while driving here are flooded. We could only see the heads of the maize sticking out of the water.”

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