Mozambique: Seven Dead in Zambezia Storms

Maputo — Over the past week, seven people have died in the central Mozambican province of Zambezia, as a result of the torrential rains that have fallen on the province since the end of December.

According to a report in the Maputo daily "Noticias", citing data from a meeting of the Technical Emergency Council, held in the provincial capital, Quelimane, on Monday, the rains will continue until Thursday.

The storms and rising river levels have affected 2,444 households in Quelimane, and in Maganja da Costa, Namacurra, Mocuba, Gurue, Morrumbala and Alto Molocue districts.

The Zambezia provincial permanent secretary, Julio Mendes, has instructed the district governments and the relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), to use community radios to mobilise people to abandon flood prone areas near the river banks, and to promote messages on individual and collective hygiene, in order to avoid the spread of water-borne diseases.

The INGC is distributing food aid to affected households, and tarpaulins to people who have lost their homes. The heavy rains, however, have made many roads impassable.

The Zambezia provincial health directorate says it already has enough medicines positioned in key districts for the next three months. The medicines were distributed in December.

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