Mozambique: Immediate Measures Required to Assist Drought Victims

Maputo – The Mozambican government’s Disaster Management Coordinating Council (CCGC) on Monday decided to take immediate measures to ensure supplies of food and water for 530,000 people in drought affected areas in the south and centre of the country.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, follows visits by members of the government to both the drought stricken provinces and areas in the north of the country where torrential rains have provoked floods.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Minister of State Administration, Carmelita Namashalua said that, while she did not wish to minimize the floods in the north, currently the most worrying situation is the drought affecting the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, and parts of Sofala and Tete in the centre of the country.

The most critical issue is the shortage of food and of drinking water in drought affected areas. The CCGC had decided to tackle these shortages as quickly as possible. Tanker trucks carrying water will be sent to the worst hit zones, and where possible more boreholes will be drilled.

The government had initially allocated 560 million meticais (about 12 million US dollars, at current exchange rates) for its contingency plan for the 2015-16 rainy season, and the relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC) has already channeled 200 million meticais to deal with urgent needs.

Because of the drought, the disaster management bodies face a deficit of 63 million meticais, said Namashalua.

“The contingency budget is not sufficient to deal with the situation”, the Minister said, “and we would like to recall that hunger kills and kills silently. We are very concerned and we will do everything possible to attenuate the suffering of our fellow citizens”.

But she said the government thought that, by carefully assessing the requirements in each place, and with the support of internal partners, it would be possible to overcome the budget deficit.


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