AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Houses destroyed, cemeteries and streets flooded: fears for health issues

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Chimoio (Agenzia Fides) – Five of the 23 districts of Manica province, in central Mozambique, have been seriously hit by heavy rains. Latest information gathered by Fides says that about 80 houses have been destroyed, while half the city's streets have been damaged or are impassable due to flooding. Most of the houses destroyed were built in damp or green areas, most vulnerable during the wet season. In recent months, water levels have been higher than usual in all Southern Africa, from Angola to Madagascar, causing millions of dollars worth of damages and many deaths. At least nine are dead this year from natural disasters such as the floods and lightning.
The rainy season in Mozambique begins in October and finishes in March. In 2000, massive rains in the central areas caused 700 deaths and vast destruction to farming lands, giving rise to serious food shortages. This year the initial costs, say the Government, include about 1.3 million people affected by the floods. The water has also flooded a cemetery in Mudzingaze, a poor quarter on the outskirts of Chimoio, raising fears of eventual health issues for the Country. The people, in fact, are taking water as usual from traditional wells which may be contaminated. In Chimoio and surrounds there are at least 11 traditional burial places, some in areas subject to flooding. (AP) (10/2/2011 Agenzia Fides)