Maputo — Islamist terrorists who occupied the town of Macomia, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado on 28 May last year, destroyed everything the town once possessed, concluding all its public services, according to the Macomia district administrator, Tomas Badae, interviewed by Radio Mozambique.
He said the only services the state can currently provide in Macomia are health services, run by health personnel working in the military. Civilian health professionals who used to work in Macomia fled after the terrorist attack, and most of them are now in the provincial capital, Pemba. So the government filled that vacuum with the military health services.
Some assistance is also being provided by the international NGO "Medecins sans Frontieres" (Doctors without Borders) whose staff have begun to return to Macomia
"All the infrastructures have been vandalised", said Badae. "They were burnt down, including the social and economic infrastructures".
"The hospital was burnt down. To deal with people's health, we have some military nurses", he added. "What the Provincial Health Directorate does is allocate medicines to the military staff who are attending to the public.
The challenge now, he added, is to guarantee security so that the town's inhabitants will return. Badae said that 2,300 people have returned to Macomia. But before the terrorist attack, 16,425 people were living in the town.
The number who have returned is very small, admitted Badae, "the others are still displaced in area where they believe they will be safe".
In Nangade district, according to a report in Wednesday's issue of the independent newssheet "Mediafax", despite recent operations by the defence and security forces, the terrorists have stepped up their attacks on villages near the district capital, Nangade town.
The defence forces have strengthened their positions around the town and last week killed an unspecified number of terrorists in Nkonga village, where the jihadists had installed a "provisional base".
Despite this the terrorists returned to Nkonga on 6 March, where they killed three people and kidnapped another three.