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Satellite image of flooded Mozambique. The brown/purple colour shows the flooded areas. Photo credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory
A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has arrived in Mozambique to coordinate a response to the recent widespread flooding with the southeastern African country's National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), aid agencies already on the ground and Rotary.
Heavy rains and overflowing rivers have forced over 150,000 people across the country from their homes to higher grounds, according to the United Nations (UN).
The south of the country has been hardest-hit, notably the province of Gaza, as the Limpopo River burst its banks. Residents in the town of Chokwe sought refuge on rooftops and the floodwaters have devastated the area. The rains have now also begun in northern areas.
'People in high-risk areas are still being rescued,' commented Rita Almeida, a spokesperson for INGC. 'We are asking people to move out of houses that could be destroyed by rain.'
Satellite image of Mozambique before the floods. Photo credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory
Aid agencies are saying there is a huge need for shelter, mosquito nets, blankets, kitchen sets, water and sanitation.
'The Mozambican government and aid organisations are struggling to respond to the needs,' said the UN.
ShelterBox will focus its efforts and carry out needs assessments in not only the worst-hit areas but also the most isolated areas.
'As South Africa and Mozambique are neighbours it almost feels like we are going to help our own people,' said SRT member Tracey Wilson (SA). 'From the reports it seems that the enormity of the damage and displacement is massive; and as a representative of ShelterBox I am really looking forward to being able to add some contribution to those people affected and help families in need.'