Maputo — In the aftermath of major flooding in several river valleys in southern and central Mozambique, particularly the Limpopo, the priority has switched to resettling flood victims on high ground, and thus ease the overcrowding in the 47 accommodation centres established by the government.
According to figures from the national relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC), there are currently about 189,000 people in these centres.
The great majority of these – 173,000 – are living in 26 centres set up in Gaza province in the wake of the Limpopo floods.
The second most affected province is Zambezia, in the centre of the country, where 10,900 people are living in five accommodation centres.
Plots of land are being demarcated for flood victims in Gaza, but they are so far woefully inadequate for the number of people affected.
According to a report in Monday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, 352 plots of land have been demarcated in Chokwe district, and 32 in Guija, on the opposite bank of the Limpopo. As they are demarcated, so they are being occupied – the 32 plots in Guija have all been taken, and 110 of those in Chokwe.
According to Rita Almeida, spokesperson of the Disaster Management Technical Council, 4,830 plots of land on high ground are needed to accommodate households who had been living in high risk areas of Chokwe, and have now taken shelter at the Chihaquelane accommodation centre, 30 kilometres outside Chokwe town.
The INGC would like to see people switch from the accommodation centres to the resettlement zones (where they will continue to receive government support) as quickly as possible. It is feared that the crowded conditions in the centres favour outbreaks of disease among the flood victims.