28 January 2015

Mozambique: SOS Children’s Village Pemba evacuates children due to severe flooding

Since late December, heavy rains have fallen in Mozambique and Malawi, causing extensive flooding. The northern province of Zambezia in Mozambique has been heavily impacted, with flood waters inundating 85,000 hectares of land and swamping dozens of villages. Neighboring South Africa has deployed troops to the area to provide transport aircraft and medical services.

 
FLOODS-IN-CHUIBA-NERSERY-SCHOOL-(2).jpg
Floods inundate SOS Children's Villages Chuiba Nursery School.

January 28, 2015

Three weeks ago, flooding damaged 14 electric poles in this northern region, which resulted in no electricity at the SOS Children’s Villages Pemba. Limited fuel meant that the generator could be used for a maximum of two hours per day. The village director realized 6 – 8 p.m. were the most important hours to have access to light, since the area is vulnerable to attack by thieves and gangs. The children’s safety became a concern. “The whole the night we live in the darkness,” said an SOS employee.  
 

Food security also became a challenge, since refrigeration was only intermittently available. This month, village management made an executive decision to evacuate the children, SOS Mothers, and staff to a nearby hotel.

Pemba, capital of the province Cabo Delgado, is a port located about 300 kilometers south of the Tanzanian border and almost 2,500 km north of Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. Pemba Bay is the third largest bay in the world; subsisting almost solely on the local fishing industry, the people of the area live in poverty. 

 
Last year at this time, torrential rains caused extensive damage to SOS Children’s Village Pemba. Classrooms filled with water, and surrounding roads and pathways broke up, making access to the village impossible.
 
As UN relief agencies gear up to provide assistance to Mozambique and neighboring Malawi, SOS Children’s Villages Mozambique assessed the damage to the five other villages in the country: 
 
Fortunately, SOS Children’s Village Tete – the oldest village in the country – has not been affected because of its geographical position. And, none of the families of SOS mothers and other staff have been affected. Unfortunately, families in the family-strengthening program have suffered great losses: their houses were either destroyed or severely flooded. Six of these families have had their houses collapse, and ten have lost all of their crops which are the primary source of their livelihood.  
 
The family houses at SOS Children’s Village Maputo have not been affected. The girl’s youth project facility, however, has been damaged and is considered flooded. The neighboring SOS Hermann Gmeiner School had large amounts of water accumulate in higher areas of the campus. This water created large openings in the wall of a house next to the school, which created an opening for the water to flow into the youth project. 
 
The girls have since moved to the training center. Unfortunately, because the wall of their original home broke during the night, the girls lost most of their personal belongings.
 
In addition, water from the higher areas in the village lifted cars and moved them down toward the village center where vehicle workshops and the SOS family-strengthening program (FSP) offices are located. The concrete porch of the FSP office broke apart, and portions of it broke through the office walls. Finally, the bathroom drain was destroyed because the barriers built in last year’s flooding are lower than the current water level. 
 
The village has no power due to the electrical line damage in neighbouring Zambezi Province.  
 
The village is unaffected. 
 
The village is unaffected.

SOS Children's Villages is providing critical support services to children and families affected by the floods. Donations to support SOS and its work can be made here. 
SOS is working to provide critical support services to children and families affected by the floods. Donations to support SOS Children’s Villages and its work can be made here. - See more at: http://www.sos-usa.org/newsroom/malawi-floods-families-create-makeshift-homes#sthash.jWpvsfN5.dpuf
SOS is working to provide critical support services to children and families affected by the floods. Donations to support SOS Children’s Villages and its work can be made here. - See more at: http://www.sos-usa.org/newsroom/malawi-floods-families-create-makeshift-homes#sthash.jWpvsfN5.dpuf
SOS is working to provide critical support services to children and families affected by the floods. Donations to support SOS Children’s Villages and its work can be made here. - See more at: http://www.sos-usa.org/newsroom/malawi-floods-families-create-makeshift-homes#sthash.jWpvsfN5.dpuf