UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Southern Africa: Floods
Date distributed (ymd): 000213
Document reposted by APIC
Region: Southern Africa
This posting contains several items on the floods that have devastated parts of southern Africa over the last week. Particularly hard hit were southern and central Mozambique, eastern South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland. An estimated 100,000 people in the Mozambican capital Maputo have been made homeless by the floods.
The first two items below are from the UN's Integrated Regional Information Service (IRIN). The last is translated from the web site Mocambique on-line
(http://www.tropical.co.mz/~wim/moclinks.html), as of February 13, 2000. Those who read Portuguese are encouraged to consult the wide range of Mozambican sources available from links on that site.
The second session of the APIC/ECA Electronic Roundtable "International Policies, African Realities" began last week, and panelists' presentations on Democracy and Human Rights are continuing this week. After the presentation are completed (late this week), there will be another three-week opportunity for audience contributions from Roundtable participants. More details and background information, as well as selected presentations in HTML format and a full archive of messages posted to date, open to visitors as well as participants, are available at http://www.africapolicy.org/rtable
To subscribe to africanrealities-L by e-mail, send a message to email@example.com
and put in the body of the message:
subscribe africanrealities-L firstname lastname
Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Southern Africa IRIN-SA - Tel: +2711 880 4633
Fax: +2711 880 1421
[This item is delivered in the English service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Web: http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer.]
SOUTHERN AFRICA: IRIN-SA
Weekly Round-up 6 covering the period 5-11 February 2000
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Flooding causes havoc across region
Torrential rains over large parts of Southern Africa this week left a trail of destruction as rivers burst their banks claiming many lives and sweeping away roads, bridges and homes. The latest death toll in region was put at over 70 people.
Key border crossings linking South Africa and Mozambique, and South Africa and Swaziland were cut. The main railway service between southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe was also severed. Botswana's main north-south road artery and the railway line linking it with South Africa and Zimbabwe had to be closed because of severe flooding.
In Mozambique as the Incomati, Umbeluzi and Sabie Rivers rose to their highest levels ever recorded, a major international humanitarian relief operation swung into action to bring relief to tens of thousands of flood victims. In a statement, the Mozambique government said that it estimated that it would need about US $15 million to fully rehabilitate flood-stricken areas. It said that US $2.7 million was needed for the initial emergency response.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) sent an assessment team to assist the Resident Coordinator and the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) in information gathering, reporting and appeal contribution management. OCHA said that it had released US $30,000 from the OCHA Emergency grant.
The United States embassy in Maputo said that it had given US $25,000 to help support flood relief efforts. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik, announced this week a donation of US $100,000 to support flood victims. Bondevik was in Mozambique for talks with President Joaquim Chissano. The United Kingdom's Department of International Development has pledged US $30,000 for emergency relief efforts.
The Belgian chapter of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF-B) had already provided doctors, medical supplies and water tanks to several sites in the capital Maputo and Matola, about 45 km west of the capital. Neighbouring South Africa, according to OCHA, provided two cargo helicopters to help rescue people stranded by rising flood waters. South Africa is also providing various non-food items such as tents, blankets and kitchen utensils. UNESCO said that it would monitor the communications requirements to improve information access to the affected populations.
In Maputo, about 100,000 people have been affected by the flooding. WFP said, in its latest update that, about 20,000 people were being sheltered at 14 centres in the city. It said that 1,000 mt of food, enough to feed 70,000 people for one month, would be distributed. Authorities in Maputo had also started rationing water after a treatment plant was flooded. WFP said that it was also providing 54,655 people with food aid in other parts of the Maputo Province. "Recent information indicates that these numbers should increase by about 10 percent," the report said.
In Matola 25 km away, an estimated 100,000 people had been affected by the floods. It said that 2,000 people were being housed at 11 sites in the city and that "several cases of malaria had been reported at some of these sites".
In Xai-Xai, the capital of the southern Gaza Province, 5,000 people had to be resettled. WFP said that this number was likely to increase as the level of the Limpopo River rose.
WFP said that 6,975 families in Sofala Province in the east had been affected, with about 34,874 people having to be evacuated. It said that there was no access to the south of the province and that the main road to Maputo in the Chibabava district was also impassable.
In Inhambane Province to the east of the country, flooding from the Save River had affected the Govuro district in the north of the province.
Meanwhile, Botswana received about three quarters of its annual rainfall in recent days, severing the country's main road and rail arteries in what police described this week as some of the worst floods experienced in the past 30 years. Foreign Minister Mompati Merafhe said on state radio this week that 5,100 homes had been destroyed by the floods.
The main route linking Gaborone with the north of the country, was washed away near the town of Morwa, about 70 km north of the capital, while crops in many areas were destroyed, officials said. In Kopong village, about 30 km from Gaborone, residents had been forced to seek refuge on rooftops after the Metsimotlhabe river burst its banks.
Local radio broadcast warnings to the public to be alert for collapsing infrastructure, and people were advised against attempting to cross fast flowing rivers. Police and the country's emergency services were assisting people rendered homeless.
In Swaziland, an estimated 10 rivers in the country had burst their banks. At least two people had drowned since the rains began on Saturday afternoon. Swazi Meteorological services said this week that between Sunday and Monday an estimated 157 millimetres of rain had fallen in the country's capital, Mbabane. The agriculture ministry's Food and Security Bulletin said the continuing heavy rains were also threatening the country's maize supply because fields were becoming water-logged.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs told IRIN this week that the Mananga border post, between Swaziland and South Africa's Mpumalanga Province, had been closed because of the heavy rains.
In South Africa, at least 38 people are reported to have died and thousands left homeless by the heavy rains. One of South Africa's most well known tourist attractions the Kruger National Park, has been devastated and forced to close its gates because of the rain. The damage to the Park is estimated to be about US $11 million.
In the country's Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Northern Provinces officials said this week that water levels in all dams were above 100 percent. Initial estimates for damage to government infrastructure in the Northern Province has been put at US $33 million.
An IRIN Focus report on the situation in the region can be viewed at:
http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN/sa/countrystories/other/200002 08.htm [type URL on one line]
Johannesburg, 11 February 14:00 GMT
MOZAMBIQUE: Humanitarian operation swings into action
[Source: IRIN web site (http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN)]
JOHANNESBURG, 10 February (IRIN) - A major international humanitarian relief operation has swung into action in Mozambique to bring relief to tens of thousands of people left homeless by devastating flood waters. In a statement, the Mozambique government said that it estimated that it would need about US $15 million to fully rehabilitate flood-stricken areas. It said that US $2.7 million was needed for the initial emergency response.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is sending an assessment team to assist the Resident Coordinator and WFP in information gathering, reporting and appeal contribution management. UNESCO will monitor the communications requirements to improve information access to the affected populations. The Belgian chapter of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF-B) has already provided doctors, medical supplies and water tanks to several sites in Maputo and Matola.
Neighbouring South Africa, according to OCHA, has provided two cargo helicopters to help rescue people stranded by rising flood waters. South Africa is also providing various non-food items such as tents, blankets and kitchen utensils. The United States embassy in Maputo said that it had given US $25,000 to help support flood relief efforts. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik, announced on Tuesday a donation of US $100,000 to support flood victims. Bondevik was in Mozambique for talks with President Joaquim Chissano.
"UN agencies met on several occasions to coordinate UN action including assessments, information gathering, reporting and contributions," a WFP statement said on Thursday. "Staff from FAO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO have been identified to work on this emergency full-time. WHO will call a team from Harare to assist in health assessment. UNICEF is calling forward medical stocks from Copenhagen to address malaria and diarrhea needs." The flooding has also devastated other neighbouring countries. After a meeting with the donor community this week, Mozambique said it would need the following emergency materials:
[view table in courier font]
ItemQuantity Approximate cost (USD)
5 meter long inflatable boats1001,395,000 Life buoy1,00085,170
Generator 0.5 kva50229,933
50 kg 'sacs'5,0002,150
Plastic sheeting 2 x 50m20,00030,800
Polypropylene rope 10 x 3050037,000
Hammers for wood and rocks2001,562
Maputo, February 10, 2000
Floods Devastate South of the Country
While Maputo continues without running water, various goods, such as green vegetables and bottled water, have already disappeared from store shelves. The outbreak of colera and other epidemics is feared. Travel between Maputo and South Africa is possible again, by an emergency opening of the Maputo-Moamba section of the new Maputo-Witbank highway, which is still under construction.
The waters of the Incomati River yesterday covered National route 1 between Manhica and Xinavane and isolated the town of Magude. In Gaza province the districts of Chicualacuala and Massangena are the most affected. In Inhambane the road between Maxixe and the rural hospital of Chicuque is not passable. In Sofala the town of Muchanga is under water. In Buzi district there are more than 30,000 people made homeless.
Several bank accounts for support of victims of the floods have been set up:
* Banco International de Mocambique (BIM), account number 44330
* Banco de Fomento e Exterior,
account number 1178717
* Banco Comercial de Mocambique (BCM):
account number 9290273.10.01 (in meticais) account number 9290273.15.01 (in U.S. dollars)
Message-Id: <200002140429.XAA07783@server.africapolicy.org> From: "APIC" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 23:18:59 -0500Subject: Southern Africa: Floods
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
|Previous Menu||Home Page||What's New||Search||Country Specific|