Maputo — The Emergency Operational Centre (CENOE), the operational arm of Mozambique's relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), on Friday guaranteed that it is monitoring the state of the 1.5 million Mozambicans facing food insecurity because of the severe drought in the southern and central provinces.
Speaking to reporters in Maputo after a meeting of the Technical Disaster Management Council (CTGC), CENOE spokesperson Paulo Tomas said that over the next three months, CENOE will be dispatching teams to the drought-stricken provinces to assess the level of assistance needed, and whether it is appropriate to lift the "red alert".
The government declared a red alert, the maximum state of disaster readiness, on 12 April, initially for three months, but it was subsequently extended.
"We shall monitor how matters have evolved on the ground, in terms of the number of people affected by food insecurity, and we shall also assess what may happen in the forthcoming rainy season", said Tomas.
The rainy season begins in October, and Tomas insisted that the INGC is well prepared to cope with any disasters that may occur.
The government says it has been able to assist a million flood victims in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane and the central provinces of Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia.
Between March and August the government mobilized 103 million US dollars for drought relief. This package includes not only food aid, but also water supply, the management of water resources and components for roads, education, health and social welfare.
At Friday's meeting the preliminary results were presented from an assessment made by the food and Nutritional Security Technical Secretariat (SETSAN), which put the number of people in extreme need at 1.49 million.