Maputo — The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is seeking 6.8 million US dollars to fund its work among the tens of thousands of children and women hit by flooding in the Limpopo Valley, in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza.
According to the national relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC), heavy rainfall in January led to 173,000 people being displaced to 26 accommodation centres in Gaza province. The worst hit areas were in Chokwe and Guija districts.
Due to the scale of the displacement, funds are urgently needed to meet the needs of those left homeless.
According to UNICEF’s Jesper Morch, “the magnitude of the flooding in the last few weeks has meant that emergency supplies and funding have been depleted. It is clear that we urgently need additional funds if we are to help many children and families recover from their losses and rebuild their lives”.
UNICEF points out that whilst the floodwaters are receding in the Limpopo Valley, a large clean-up operation is needed before these areas are fit for families to return.
Meanwhile, the UN organisation warns that flooding in the centre and north of the country has displaced 45,000 people.
So far, the Mozambican government has provided 10 million dollars in support, whilst another 5.3 million dollars has been released by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund. Other funding has been donated by various governments, non-governmental organisations and faith based organisations.
However, the Humanitarian Country Team in Mozambique – composed of UN and non-governmental organisations – estimates that it needs a total of 30.6 million dollars for relief operations, of which 6.8 million dollars is needed by UNICEF.
Among the priorities are to provide access to clean water, adequate sanitation, shelter, food, health care and protection. The plans also include establishing schools and health care services, as well as initiatives to restore livelihoods as people return, rebuild their homes and restart work and agricultural production.
UNICEF calculates that over 180 primary schools and 54,000 pupils have been affected by the floods. It is working with the Ministry of Education to provide classroom tents and learning materials.