International agency Oxfam will fly out on Thursday February 15 with 14 tonnes of water, sanitation and hygiene equipment to help thousands of people displaced by floods in Mozambique. Heavy rains are forecast to continue in the region this week, which threatens to worsen the situation of up to 285,000 people living in vulnerable areas.
The plane will leave the East Midlands airport in the UK at 12 noon on Thursday February 15 with enough equipment to cater for the needs of 25,000 people. It includes water pumps, water containers, pipes, water treatment chemicals, jerry cans for water collection, buckets, 1,000 bed nets and 2,000 hygiene kits. The flight is expected to arrive in Beira, in Mozambique, on Friday.
“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.
Caroline Hooper Box, an Oxfam aid worker in the Chupanga evacuation camp said: “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. Many men have stayed behind to look after the livestock, but crops may be more difficult to save. The maize fields we saw while driving here are flooded. We could only see the heads of the maize sticking out of the water.”
In addition to the flooding in Mozambique, Oxfam is also responding to the recent floods in Jakarta with an aid assistance programme for 30,000 people. The focus is similarly on providing immediate water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to those in critical need.