Heavy rains and floods in Central Mozambique

TITLE REPORT: Emergency Situation in Mozambique
REPORT AUTHOR: Caritas Moçambicana/INGD (The National Institute for Disaster
REPORTING PERIOD: 7 to 20 February 2023

After days of intense heat, in which the thermometers reached an average of 35 degrees Celsius, the province and city of Maputo – confirming the forecasts of the National Institute of Meteorology – have been registering, since February 7, 2023, intense rain and flooding. According to the National Institute of Meteorology, in just 3 days (February 7-9) the expected amount of rainfall for the entire month of February in the city of Maputo was exceeded. It is estimated that the rain has already exceeded 170mm against the normal 130mm.

Houses and streets flooded, families displaced, access roads blocked and many infrastructures were destroyed, agricultural fields flooded and citizens exposed to waterborne diseases. This is the scenario that can be described at this point regarding the situation in the province of Maputo, with the district of Boane being the most critical, followed by the cities of Maputo and Matola.

Until the afternoon of the 10th of February, the Municipal Council of Boane had counted a total of 1700 submerged houses and 4000 people evacuated to safe places. More than 70 families are resettled in a Transit Center created by the Municipal authorities and another 60 families are resettled in Church infrastructures, needing help with food, hygiene, clothing, etc.

At the level of the city of Maputo, a total of 4 Municipal districts are in a worrying situation. A total of 13,600 people are in a vulnerable situation according to Municipal authorities. Tank trucks and pumps were provided to ensure water supply.

Summary in terms of damage

  • Total affected: 13,910 people affected in the province and city of Maputo;
  • Affected – Maputo City (13,775 people); Maputo province (135)
  • Deaths: 6
  • Flooded houses: 2755 in Maputo city + 1700 in Maputo province
  • Displaced: 180 families + 15 besieged
  • Infrastructure: 15 flooded schools and 5 hospitals

Accommodation centers created: 3 (Complete Primary School of Massaca, Shed of the former transport company Oliveiras and facilities of the Igraja Católica de Fomento
Source: INGD (National Institute for Disaster Management).

Forecast of more affected districts
As a result of the discharges that are being carried out in South Africa and in the Eswatini kingdom, the National Directorate of Water Resources in Mozambique predicts the occurrence, in the coming days, of flooding in the districts of Namaacha, Moamba, Magude and Manhiça. The water will enter through the Umbeluzi and Incomati rivers, for this reason the authorities call for the removal of the population from the riverside areas. The discharges to be made by both countries are the result of intense rains above 1000 m3 in 24 hours.

The hydro meteorological situation indicates the record of floods in the hydrographic basins of the Incomati rivers in Ressano Garcia, Moamba and Magude and the Umbeluzi river, in Goba. These rivers may experience a very rapid increase in water levels. The authorities estimate that these rivers could carry flows of between 1,000 and 3,000 m3 per second, causing floods in more than 2,000 hectares of agricultural areas. It is estimated that more than 24,000 people will be affected by the floods.

At the moment it rains a lot in provinces of the center of the country and with many connections cut, and as an example, we have the N7 road that connects Chimoio and Tete. Zambeze, Pungue and Buzi rivers in the central region are expected to overflow and cause flooding before the end of February 2023.

According to the government authorities, Cyclone Freddy, which is now approaching Madagascar, is expected to enter Mozambican channel on 22 and will affect the provinces of Sofala,Inhambane and Zambezia.

Actions: Caritas Moçambicana, in partnership with Diocesan Caritas of Maputo is mobilizing local support and have issued petition from all parishes to contribute in order to assist the affected population