Maputo — Torrential rains in Lichinga, capital of the northern Mozambican province of Niassa, have displaced at least 45 families, according to a report on Radio Mozambique.
While southern Mozambique is suffering a severe drought, in the far north heavy rain has been bringing misery to people living in flimsy houses.
The storm hit Lichinga on Wednesday, and drove people from their homes in the neighbourhoods of Namacula, Sanjala, Uchenga and Senamica. According to the radio, about 200 people in these areas have lost their homes and other property,
“We were able to save ourselves because the rain struck during the day”, said one of the victims, Cristina Ricardo. “If it had happened at night perhaps the situation would have been sadder. As it is, we have lost many things, including our mattresses and television sets”.
The director of planning in Lichinga Municipal Council, Acacia Abudo, called for the immediate abandonment of flood-prone areas in order to avoid any further losses. The problem is that people have tended to return to dangerous areas, despite the Council's warnings.
“Some citizens chose to abandon land which has been affected by flooding in the past, but they came back again”, said Abudo. “So we are urging these same people to leave at once the areas at risk”.
There have also been storms in the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado, which drove about 140 people from their homes in Montepuez district.