28 January 2013

Mozambique: Living On the Roof, Waiting for Rescue

South Africa's neighbouring country is warning of a national catastrophe as floodwaters continue to rise. With the number of casualties increasing, ... ( Resource: Mozambique Under Water )

The scenario is bleak and chaotic. Hundreds of people are spending nights along the road without shelter, clothing and food in Guija district, one of the most affected by floods in southern Mozambique.

Hunger, misery and sadness are not words strong enough to describe the scenario. You can see the loss of dignity and the pain of exposure to nature's elements and the obvious worry of being exposed to diseases.

Although the flooding is subsiding in some areas, it is still too early for anyone to return home. Many people are still marooned roofs waiting to be rescued.

Children crying are heard everywhere, and the cause of their misery is called hunger.

"I don't have anything to give them," says Flora Chauque, a mother of six. The youngest one is just one 18 months old. Her possessions are now just two pots, a gallon to fetch water, and two bed sheets used to cover her children during the night.

"The only food I could take with me was only 12 kilos of maize flour," Flora says. "Unfortunately, we finished it today and if we don't have support, I don't know what I will give to the children," she added with wet eyes.

Flora is also concerned about her children's exposure to mosquito bites: "Just look at my Esmenia. She is full of bubbles on her face as result of mosquito bites. If we could have at least tents, dishes, buckets and mosquito nets, the situation would be minimized until we are able to go home."

Flora is one of 200 families which benefited from the water purifier distributed by World Vision to displaced people to avoid cholera outbreak.

"We are working closely with the government to build latrines for the affected families," says Chivongoene Area Development Programme Manager, Agostinho Chambule.

A World Vision container with hygiene kits that inlcude blankets, soap, buckets and jerry cans is on its way to Guija to be distributed to the affected people.

The floods not only brought misery but also deaths and mourning to the displaced people.

"We have seen a lady who had complications during childbirth," says Celestino Sambo, a World Vision staff. "She needed a caesarean section that could only be done at another hospital, but the district was isolated from the rest of the country. The roads to access were disrupted in some places and flooded in others. Minutes later two lives were lost."

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