Maputo — The Mozambican government's main concern in the wake of the January and February floods is "to normalize the life of the population, rebuild damaged infrastructures, and conclude resettlement", declared Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina on Thursday.
The government was also concerned to prepare the second sowings in the current agricultural year, "by distributing agricultural inputs to the most affected among the population".
Speaking at the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, where all three parliamentary groups had requested information from the government on the floods crisis, Vaquina stressed that the overall goal of the government's programme is "to reduce the levels of poverty and vulnerability, by promoting rapid, sustainable and wide-ranging economic growth, and promoting education, health and rural development".
The government, he added, intended not only to minimize the effects of the recent floods "but to adopt measures so that, in the future, our families and communities can enjoy better conditions to reduce their vulnerability".
Vaquina praised the work of the local Risk Management Committees, scattered across Mozambique, which had intervened promptly to mobilise people to abandon dangerous areas.
Their actions helped ensure "that the number of fatalities and of people suffering seriously was not larger".
The Prime Minister also had words of praise for teachers and health workers in the flood-hit areas. "Working under extremely difficult conditions, they never ceased to give classes or provide health care", he said. "Teachers, doctors and nurses showed their immense love and dedication to their professions and to our people".
Vaquina warned that climate change is likely to make natural disasters more frequent and more intensive, and called for a deep reflection on how to provide more security for people living on flood plains and in river basins.
The answer, he suggested, lies in combining "the resettlement of the population in safer areas, and the building of protective infrastructures such as dams and dykes".