Maputo — The Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) is surveying the human and material losses registered in various parts of the country, in the initial period of the 2019/2020 rainy season, which began in October.
Storms with high winds have occurred in several parts of the country, blowing the roofs off many buildings. The most recent storm occurred last week in the southernmost district of Matutuine, where, in a just a few minutes, 140 houses were destroyed, and seven people were injured.
Rain and hail wrecked a poultry business, causing the deaths of 60,000 chickens. In Matutuine schools, seven classrooms were damaged or destroyed.
According to INGC general director Augusta Maita, speaking at a Maputo seminar on logistical preparations for humanitarian response, the current survey will give a true picture of the damage.
The seminar was held under a memorandum of understanding between the INGC and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) dealing with the planning, management and monitoring required for logistical operations to cope with emergencies.
Maita said the seminar was a moment to consolidate the links of cooperation between the INGC and the WFP, which has traditionally been one of the country's main partners in matters of humanitarian assistance for the victims of natural disasters.
The memorandum of understanding and the seminar were intended to transfer knowledge from the WFP to INGC staff. Maita said this would be assured through making available to the INC various tools to ensure the institution's autonomy, in matters of logistical planning, the management and handling of stocks, and screening systems for goods such as foodstuffs and medicines.
Logistics, Maita added, is one of the most complex areas during emergencies, and it is crucial to master logistics in order to give a better response to people affected by disasters.
"When we speak of humanitarian logistics, we are looking at the primordial goal of minimising the suffering of those affected", said Maita. "One of the critical points in logistics is the management of donations, which has an impact on the entire chain".
The WFP representative in Mozambique, Karin Manente, said the seminar should identify and analyse opportunities, gaps, constraints and risks, and then define appropriate actions, in order to form a common approach and better prepare logistical operations.