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What Else Could Be Done (Tracking The Flooding Attack In Mozambique Over The Years)?

What Else Could Be Done (Tracking The Flooding Attack In Mozambique Over The Years)?


What seems like a natural occurrence that occurred in February 2002 has turned out to be something they can't get over with. Year in Year Out, it has been from bad to worse and the recent one suggests that if something is not done, the country might be at a great loss.

Mozambique is a country located in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Eswatini (Swaziland) and South Africa to the southwest. The sovereign state is separated from the Comoros, Mayotte, and Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east.

Mozambique is a ‘downstream’ country through which nine major international river systems that drain vast areas of southeastern Africa find their way to the ocĂ©an.

In 2000, Mozambique experienced a natural disaster, this occurred through a flood which was caused by heaven rainfall that lasted for five weeks. Reports revealed stated that 700 people were killed 1,400 km² of arable land was affected and 20,000 herds of cattle were lost. As at then, it was regarded as the worst flood in 50 years little did they know that this act was going to continue for some while even till present day Mozambique?

From 2000 till date, Mozambique flood has increased, though the measure has been taken it's recent flood attack in 2019 reveals that the government needs to do more. According to Research;
"Mozambique’s long-term challenge is to learn to live with floods and drought. Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than 50% of its 19.7 million people living in extreme poverty. Development has been compromised in recent years by these hydrometeorological disasters leading to economic growth rates decline from 12% before the 2000 floods to 7% after the floods."

Mozambique’s high incidence of flooding is explained by two factors. First is the tropical cyclones that form in the south-western Indian Ocean and sweep towards the country’s coast. While relatively few of these actually make landfall, an average of three or four gets close enough each year to cause high winds and heavy rain, leading to flooding. Second, Mozambique must thus manage the downstream effects of rain that falls far beyond its own catchment areas of an estimated 50% of water in Mozambique’s rivers comes from outside the country. Floods in Mozambique have occurred every two to three years along the major rivers of Incomati, Limpopo, Save, Buzi, Pungue, Zambezi and Licungo. The severity of the flooding is decided by the rainfall both in the country and in the other catchments areas of these rivers outside Mozambique.

In recent flood attack in Mozambique, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that 446 people have died (the numbers are likely to continue to rise). Some 1,500 are injured, and 110,000 people are living in shelters.

In 2015, some group of industry expert came together to propose ten measures to prevent flooding in the future. They are: Introduce better flood warning system, modify homes and businesses to help them withstand flood, construct building above flood level, tackle climate change, increase spending on flood defences, protect wetlands and introduce plant trees strategically, restore rivers to the natural courses, introduce water storage areas, improve soil conditions and finally put more flood barriers.

Taking a deep look into those measures, can we say Mozambique government have adopted them? the answer is Yes. The question on every Mozambican is "What else can be done?" Truly they need a change and a drastic one in this not so good season.


Written by Timileyin Oni
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