Samaritan’s Purse is providing clean water and other aid after heavy rains created catastrophic conditions
The beginning of the wet season in Mozambique has brought catastrophic flooding in several areas of the country. There are over 170,000 displaced people, 250,000 impacted, and 91 dead.GiveSamaritan’s Purse is responding to the disaster by providing clean water, plastic sheeting for emergency shelter, blankets, jerry cans, and soap for people who were forced to leave their homes.
We are trucking clean water to seven water distribution points to provide tens of thousands of liters of safe drinking water each day. Our team is also giving hygiene education to nearly 35,000 people and has built 11 hand-washing stations and more than 100 latrines.
One group of approximately 57,000 people has become an official camp called Chiaquelane. Samaritan’s Purse is providing 75,000 liters of water per day and additional latrines each day to the people in this camp.
“It was heartbreaking to see so many families that had lost everything in the floods,” Alyssa Burt, intern with Samaritan’s Purse, said while in Chiaquelane. “In every direction, families had their piles of things that they managed to grab before evacuating their now destroyed homes. Some of the families had managed to build their own shelters with tarps that we distributed, while others had to huddle under trees when the weather was rainy or scorching hot because they had not received one yet. Samaritan’s Purse had built some latrines and food and water had been distributed, which seemed to help everyone affected.”
A second group of about 8,000 people have gathered around eight schools. A third group in Guija was originally only accessible by boat or air, but roads have become passable again with the water receding. There have been 112 reported cases of diarrhea in this camp, and cholera and malaria are a concern.
However, sickness is becoming more widespread. There have been 507 cases of diarrhea and 205 cases of malaria reported in the official displacement camp in southern Mozambique, creating a need for medical assistance. Currently there is one doctor serving 53,000 people in the main camp.
Conditions are likely to worsen as the peak of the rainy and cyclone seasons approaches between mid-February and late March. River levels continue to be high across the region and are rising rapidly.
The south and center of the country have been placed on red alert after facing the heaviest rainfalls since overwhelming floods killed around 800 people in 2000. Fresh rains have spread to Zambezia, which is in northern Mozambique. The number of displaced people in that province has risen from 10,000 on Feb. 1 to 48,000 on Feb. 4.
Waters continues to rise and rain is still pouring down in the area. Staff members in Samaritan’s Purse Zambezia office are assessing the situation.
“This entire flood situation is a mess,” Burt said. “So many people are suffering, but little by little I am seeing glimpses of hope.”
Please pray for displaced people who don’t have basic necessities and our staff members, who had to be evacuated from our base in the area, as they try to meet the needs of the suffering.