Mozambique: Torrential Rains Flood Parts of Manica and Sofala

Maputo — Sussundenga (Mozambique), 14 Feb (AIM) - The Secretary of State for the central Mozambican province of Manica, Edson Macuacua, on Thursday demanded that members of the provincial government show a greater capacity of response to avoid further loss of life in the regions recently lashed by torrential rains.

He was speaking in Sussundenga district, where The rains have left at least 500 households without a roof over their heads. Throughout the province, about 90 kilometres of road are now impassable.

Two people have died - one drowned when trying to cross a swollen river, and the second was crushed by a falling wall.

"We have suffered two deaths, which is a matter of concern", said Macuacua. "So it's important that we continue to monitor the situation, and provide better assistance to the public so that we can avoid further deaths".

The second priority, he added, is to guarantee that the people have sufficient food and a healthy environment.

Among the regions that Macuacua visited is the Dombe administrative post which has been cut off from the rest of the country overland for almost two days.

He also visited schools damaged by the storms. The rains and flooding temporarily closed 11 schools, but nine have reopened.

The Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Managment Institute (INGC) is providing support for those households whose homes have been destroyed or damaged. "We delivered some foodstuffs, hygiene and cleaning products and blankets", said the INGC Manica delegate, Augusto Alexandre. "These products are reaching the affected households. Right now, we don't have enough tents, but we are receiving more support, which is being delivered to the people in need".

In the neighbouring province of Sofala, the storms have brought floods affecting 35,000 people, reports the independent television station STV.

Roads are impassable in parts of Nhamatanda district, because the flood waters have swept away a bridge over the Metuchira river. Anyone wishing to cross the river can only do so by boat. The district administrator told reporters that about 8,000 hectares of crops in Metuchira have been submerged.

The Sofala authorities have set up three accommodation centres for people whose homes have been flooded.

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