Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Monday, 20 March, 2000, 15:54 GMT
Floods hit northern Mozambique
Floods in Maputo
Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless
Mozambique's flood crisis has moved northwards, following heavy rain in areas of the country that escaped the deluges of the past six weeks.

The new flooding began as the European Union voted to raise economic assistance to Mozambique by 50%, and the government appealed for foreign assistance for flood-prevention measures.

The Messalo River in the Gabo Delgado region burst its banks on Monday, after a week of torrential rain in northern Mozambique.

It blocked the main road about 110km (70 miles) from the Tanzanian border and flooded three or four villages.

Antonio Macheve, a spokesman for the country's national disaster management agency, said several villages along the banks of the Zambezi River in the north-west Tete province had also been flooded.

Further south, the towns of Vilanculo and Inhassoro in the central Inhambane province have been cut off because of flooded roads.

Long-term planning

Meanwhile the Mozambican Government has appealed for immediate international aid at a World Water Forum in the Netherlands.

Mozambique's Deputy Minister for Public Works and Housing, Henrique Koppah, said his government needed expert advice to help to set up long-term counter measures against flooding.

Helicopter rescue, Mozambique
Mozambique has called for more international aid
Mr Koppah expressed Mozambique's gratitude for the international relief effort, but he said international expertise was needed now to help prevent more floods, by building more storage dams and better flood-warning systems.

He said long-term flood prevention has to be a regional effort.

The Japanese government has already pledged its support and is expected to announce details at a ministerial conference on Tuesday. Mr Koppah's appeal was the day before the Global Water Partnership's action day when a new lobby group, The Water Movement, will be launched to campaign for water security.

More EU money

EU spokesman Fernando Neves said aid efforts to Mozambique would continue for another six months.

At a meeting in Brussels on Monday, the EU increased its annual economic assistance to Mozambique to 150m euros ($150m) and pledged more emergency aid.

Flood victims shelter on roof
After the rescue mission, people need food and medicine
Mozambique has been devastated by torrential rains and floods that have left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

Even before the floods, Mozambique was one of the world's poorest nations, with some 70% of its people living below the poverty line, according to World Bank figures.

Of overall emergency aid of 115m euros, the EU and its 15 member states have contributed 85m euros. In addition, EU nations have agreed to debt relief for Mozambique totalling 156m euros.

In a statement, EU ministers said they recognised "the broader impact" the floods and rains have had on Mozambique's economy. They announced the EU would co-host a donor conference for Mozambique with the World Bank, to be held in Rome at the end of April or the beginning of May.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Africa Contents

Country profiles
See also:

19 Mar 00 | Africa
Mozambique floods: Taking stock
16 Mar 00 | Africa
Mozambique's debt burden
08 Mar 00 | Africa
Mozambique's devastated economy
01 Mar 00 | Africa
Mozambique: How you can help
Links to other Africa stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories