Efforts to assist victims of the serious flooding that has affected central parts of Mozambique in recent weeks continue amid reports that the level of the Zambezi river is beginning to fall. At least 160,000 people are thought to have been displaced by the floodwaters, which have also claimed around 40 lives; the situation has been compounded by the tropical cyclone Favio, which hit the southern provinces of Sofala and Inhambane with high winds and torrential rain on 23 February. Most victims have found shelter in accommodation centres in affected areas, where they are receiving food, drugs, medical care and fresh water supplies. However, government officials, international agencies and non-governmental organisations are warning of possible outbreaks of cholera, diarrhea and other potentially fatal diseases if relief efforts are not stepped up over the next few days. The situation is particularly acute for the estimated 80,000 children who have been left homeless as a result of the emergencies.
Mozambique is prone to flooding as it traversed by the lower part of the Zambezi river, whose basin is also shared by Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania. The worst floods on record occurred in 2001, when 700 people lost their lives and 500,000 more were displaced from their homes and land.