8 February 2013
British Red Cross experts are heading to Mozambique to help victims of flooding that has forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Since January, parts of the country have suffered torrential rain – more than five times the expected level for this time of year in some areas. The downpours have destroyed houses, schools, health centres and crops, forcing people to leave their homes.
More than 200,000 people are thought to have been affected by the disaster, and more than 90 killed. About 150,000 are living in temporary accommodation.
Reducing the risk of disease
Today (8 February) the British Red Cross sent a team of sanitation experts to the country in a bid to reduce the risk of diseases such as malaria and health problems related to diarrhoea. They will bring vital sanitation equipment and share knowledge that will help people affected by the disaster stay healthy.
The team’s six members have worked during and after major disasters across the world, including the Haiti Earthquake in 2010 and the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.
Team leader Peter Pearce said: “We expect to face some logistical challenges in accessing certain areas of Mozambique as roads will be damaged.
“We also know that thousands of people have lost their homes, so sanitation becomes absolutely paramount to prevent the spread of disease. It’s important to get good, safe latrines built for public health reasons. We will also be doing hygiene promotion work to help people keep clean and safe.”
The Red Cross Disaster Fund
The team’s work will be paid for by the Red Cross Disaster Fund – which gives vital support to people affected by emergencies across the world.
Since the disaster began the Mozambique Red Cross has helped evacuate families, given first aid and launched education projects to tackle the spread of disease.