Floods in Mozambique displace 150,000

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The flooding forced tens of thousands of people from their homes across the country.

The Mozambican government and aid organizations are struggling to respond to the needs of 150,000 people displaced by recent flooding in the country's southern Gaza Province, says the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.

Residents of Chókwè, one of the worst-affected districts, were forced to flee to higher ground when water levels in the Limpopo River started rising rapidly on 22 January.

Thousands of the displaced fled, mainly on foot, to a camp in Chiaquelane, 30km away, where they waited for the government and aid agencies to start distributing emergency food rations and tents.

Amid the flooding, Hortensia gave birth to a baby girl in Chokwe, the most affected district in the south. She was interviewed at Xihakelane village by UN Radio stringer, Amancio Miguel.

"When the rain began to get worse I had to climb onto the roof of the neighbouring house where eventually I ended up giving birth. I was alone but moments later I was helped out by other people who advised me to step down because they feared that I would have complications. After that, I was moved to temporary shelter."

Trucks carrying rice and emergency kits started arriving on 24 January. According to UN representative Lola Castro, aid was being distributed as fast as possible. By 26 January, however, only a fraction of the estimated 54,000 people staying at the camp had access to a tent or a tarpaulin.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37″

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