Mozambique: Residents forced to leave flood risk areas in Gaza

The Mozambican authorities are forcibly moving people away from flood risk areas along the Limpopo valley, in the southern province of Gaza.

The operation began on Sunday in the districts of Chokwe and Guija to prevent the loss of human life from drowning in the floods caused by discharges from the Massingir dam. Currently, there is flooding in Macarretane and Chilembene, in Gaza province.

Many people living in the area have refused to leave their homes, fearing that thieves might take advantage of the situation.

The head of the local branch of the government’s relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) in Gaza, Manuel Machaieie, told Radio Mozambique that more than 100 families have been forcibly evacuated in the last few days.

“We have deployed soldiers and marines to assist with the compulsory evacuation because people have refused to leave the area. In Guija we are being assisted by the police to help us evacuate those who insist on staying in flood risk areas where they have grown their crops”, said Machaieie.

He noted that some of the residents have moved to higher ground where they built houses last year under a government resettlement programme.

It is estimated that over 2,000 hectares of crops have been flooded within the irrigated perimeter of Chokwe.

In Macarretane the river has burst its banks and the flood waters have inundated a sugar cane plantation and other crops.

At least three people, one woman and two children, are reported missing in Guija after being swept away by the waters of the Limpopo River on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the provincial director of Public Works in Gaza, Jose Mahumane, has emphasised that there is no danger that the main north-south highway (EN1) will be cut by flood waters in the town of Macie, in the district of Bilene.

He was reacting to statements made by the district administrator, Sara Guambe, who on Monday said there was a danger that the main road might be cut due to a large crater opened by last week’s torrential rains.

Post published in: Africa News

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