Mozambique: Displaced People Flee Into Gondola Town

Maputo — Displaced people are continuing to flee from their rural homes to the town of Gondola, in the central Mozambican province of Manica, where they face a serious lack of food, and even of water, according to a report in Thursday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais".

The displaced families are fleeing from the armed attacks perpetrated by the self-styled "Renamo Military Junta", a breakaway from the main opposition party, Renamo, which does not accept the peace agreement that Renamo leader Ossufo Momade signed with President Filipe Nyusi last year.

The families flee to the town from the more remote areas of Gondola district, such as Chipindaumue, Pindanganga, Mussapadzi and Mucorodzi. They say attacks by the Military Junta have forced them to abandon thEse localities and seek safety in the town.

"O Pais" reporters visited the centres set up for displaced people in Gondola, and found shortages of food, water, clothing and blankets. The latter are essential because the weather is bitterly cold in Gondola. When "O Pais" visited, the temperature was eight degrees centigrade. The reporters found a seven year old child shivering with cold, and his parents unable to provide any assistance.

To acquire food, the displaced must purchase it with money acquired from selling firewood cut from the nearby bush.

Drinking water comes from the Mussatua river, and is untreated. "Here we drink dirty water, which we fetch from that stream", said one of the displaced, Mateus Fungufaia. "Many of us are coming down with diarrhoea and other diseases".

The authorities are aware of the problem, and on Wednesday delivered food for the next 30 days to some of the families. Gondola municipality has promised to drill a borehole that should supply clean water for the displaced people.

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