28 January 2019

Mozambique: 'Treat Every Day As an Emergency' - Prime Minister

Maputo — Beira (Mozambique), 28 Jan (AIM) - Mozambican Prime Minister, Carlos Agostinho de Rosario, is demanding the inclusion of emergency actions in governance programs at all levels, central, provincial and district.

This measure seeks to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, particularly floods and droughts.

Rosario warned that every day should be considered as an emergency, as a result of climate change. This could help the authorities to respond to natural disasters with greater speed and effectiveness.

Speaking to members of the provincial and district governments, during a meeting of the Sofala Emergency Operational Centre which he chaired on Saturday in Dondo District, about thirty kilometres from Beira, Rosario said, "We have to live in an emergency situation every day. That means that in the plans of the central, provincial and district governments, in every sector, we have to incorporate emergency actions and carry them out every day".

The meeting marked the end of a two day visit by the Prime Minister to Sofala, where he assessed the flood situation resulting from the passage of cyclone Desmond last Tuesday.

He said there is no alternative, since the climate has changed throughout the world and, as a result, extreme events will occur with greater frequency. "We have to learn to live with this," he stressed. "Our action is to adapt to these changes."

Before the meeting Rosario visited the Mandruzi resettlement area, set up in 2016 to accommodate 96 households, victims of earlier floods in Praia Nova, in Beira. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the conditions in Mandruzi and recommended that it served as a model for other resettlement neighbourhoods to be set up to accommodate about 5,800 people made homeless by last week's floods.

"We have to identify areas where we can put people in safe zones that are not prone to flooding, in places where we can dig channels to drain water" said Rosario. "In Dondo, we have found this model. We cannot relax. This question of adaptation to climate change must be faced in this way, living every day as an emergency."

The Prime Minister also visited the Mungassa accommodation centre which is currently housing over three thousand people. This is a worrying situation due to the high risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera. He ordered the Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), to review the situation as quickly as possible.

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