SEATTLE — In a developing country like Mozambique, a lack of resources during extreme climatic occurrences can push an entire nation to the edge. The success of humanitarian aid to Mozambique has been dependent mostly on assistance from the international community.
For the past few years, Mozambique has experienced a number of climatic catastrophes, ranging from floods to droughts and even cyclones. The exact geographical location of Mozambique has made the country susceptible to these events. It is located on the Indian Ocean and downstream from many of Africa’s largest rivers, including the Zambezi River.
Hundreds of people have died due to flooding in Mozambique. Thousands have been displaced from their homes and many others have been categorized as missing from their families.
A large percentage of Mozambique’s inhabitants live in rural areas. This has made it difficult to circulate information about extreme events that are expected to occur.
Fertile soil in central and northern Mozambique has yielded a wide variety of agriculture. During times of drought, most families move closer to the rivers in order to benefit from the fertile soil and to live closer to their crops. However, during times of extreme flooding, most families do not have enough time to head for higher ground, making them highly vulnerable to famine and waterborne diseases.
In response to these catastrophes, many international organizations have provided various measures in support of the affected people needing shelter, access to clean water and proper sanitation. Concern Worldwide, a nonprofit known for transforming the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people, is one of the many organizations that have contributed to the success of humanitarian aid to Mozambique.
Concern is helping the people of Mozambique respond to emergencies and build resilience in times of disasters. In early January 2015, the Zambezia province of Mozambique experienced the worst flooding that the area had seen in decades. Mass destruction to infrastructure left 70 percent of the Zambezia province completely ruined and unreachable. In response, Concern initiated an emergency response plan in provinces that were affected. With support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, they were able to assist in the building of disaster-resistant communities.
To build sustainability, Concern has also taken the initiative to train community institutions and develop rural infrastructure like stables, water reservoir structures and drought-resistant seeds to survive the risks of future events. They have invested in community risk analysis and early warning systems, and strengthened the connection between community organizations and risk management procedures.
Four thousand displaced households have been supported thus far through the supply of basic shelter, hygiene, sanitation and household equipment with the help of Concern and its collaboration with the local authorities and other agencies.
Looking ahead, Concern will continue to contribute to the success of humanitarian aid to Mozambique with work they plan on doing in the Manica and Zambézia province in order to increase food and nutrition security, but most importantly to support the poor, women and children under the age of two and individuals living in isolated farming communities.
– Zainab Adebayo