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Affected community projects: Tete
Heavy rains have afflicted southern Malawi and northern Mozambique since late December. Today, the situation has reached crisis proportions. In Mozambique, flooding has hit the northern province of Zambezia especially hard, with floodwaters inundating 85,000 hectares of land, swamping dozens of villages.
Pemba Village evacuated
Pemba Village is located in the very north of the province, where power blackouts have wiped out the electricity supply. Although the Village has a generator, we are only able to run it for a few hours a day due to limited fuel. This means we are low on food due to a lack of refrigeration facilities, and during the night, “we live in the darkness”, as one team member puts it. According to the Village Director, this leaves the children vulnerable, with the Village vulnerable to attack by gangs or thieves. Flooding is also causing the ground around the Village to erode.
Due to food shortages and compromised security, the team decided to evacuate the Village. The children moved to a nearby hotel on Monday.
What about our other Children's Villages in Mozambique?
Pemba is the worst-affected Village, but our other sites have not escaped unscathed. At Maputo Village, flooding has damaged the female youth home, and the girls are currently living in the training centre. The school has also suffered slight damage. Despite the damage, everyone is safe.
Many of the SOS-supported families living in the community around Tete Village in western Mozambique have lost their homes and livelihoods to the floods. Six homes have been completely destroyed, while others are submerged. Ten families have lost their livelihoods as their farmland has been inundated.
All our other Villages are unaffected, although Beira Village is currently without power.
News just in: We have recently published an update on the crisis faced by children separated from their parents by the flooding. Read more...
Affected Villages: None
Affected community projects: Blantyre, Ngabu
SOS-supported community families in Blantyre and Ngabu are among 13,000 people affected in the regions where we work. Across Blantyre and Ngabu, 180 families have been forced to evacuate.
“We have no food”
Mercy Masambuku is one single mother left homeless by the floods. “My house could not withstand the strong rains and wind earlier this month,” she says. Before the floods, she was a successful beneficiary of our community programme, running her own business selling maize and dried foodstuffs.
Today, she and her three girls are living in the husk of their home, the damage patched up with mosquito nets. “We have no food, no warm or even dry clothes, living in a makeshift house... I am so afraid to leave my children even for a short period of time... I will do whatever it takes for us to be together and for them to be happy.”
“The worst is yet to come”
Phillip Tegha coordinates our community work in Malawi, and he and his team are visiting the affected communities to see what we can do to help. He paints a bleak picture: “In an effort to keep their children safe... the victims of the floods are depending on neighbours to keep their children safe and fed... The houses we see still standing are of poor condition and might fall and injure more if help does not come.”
Philip's team is working to establish the most effective way to help families like Mercy's. But the crisis is far from over. Philip puts it in the starkest terms. “The rain is still falling, and the worst is yet to come.”
Our priority today is to protect the children in our care. Check our news page to stay up-to-date with the latest developments from the flood-stricken region. If you would like to help a vulnerable child living in the affected area, find out more about our work in Eastern Africa.