Army responds to flooding in central and southern Mozambique

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Salvation Army relief workers are struggling to ferry food and water to thousands made homeless by rapidly rising flood waters in central and southern Mozambique.

Vast areas of the country are submerged, with just the tips of trees visible above the raging waters. Hundreds of thousands of people were driven from their homes with only the clothes on their backs and huddled on high ground awaiting food, water and medical care. More than 400 have died.

The floods have swept away homes, farms, roads and bridges.

A new peril for flood victims and relief workers alike is the menace of land mines, a legacy of a lengthy civil war in the 1980s and 1990s. An estimated 400,000 to two million land mines are in the country; hundreds of the buried weapons are thought to have been swept from the positions that humanitarian groups had plotted on maps over the last few years.

Personnel from The Salvation Army’s Regional Headquarters in Maputo are striving to do all they can, despite being themselves affected by rising flood water, disruptions in electricity and a lack of drinking water. An emergency response to this massive disaster is being coordinated by The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa Territorial Headquarters in Johannesburg. Funds are desperately sought to purchase food and hire transport.

The Salvation Army is planning to purchase and fly food into the isolated northern provinces with the assistance of the South African Air Force or chartered aircraft. A three-member leadership team has traveled in four-wheel drive vehicles into the hard-hit southern (Maputo) area with soya products, powdered milk, mealie meal and other basic food products. This team will also conduct an in-depth needs assessment and make recommendations for further Salvation Army aid.

International assistance is being coordinated by the International Emergency Services office at Salvation Army International Headquarters in London.

Those who wish to support The Salvation Army’s response efforts may do so by sending a check earmarked “Mozambique Flood Relief” to their local Salvation Army unit, or by making an online donation at www.salvationarmy.usawest.org.

From an IHQ news report by Captain Mike Olsen –

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