Posted by: APO | 12 January 2008

Flood alert in Southern Africa

Flood alert in Southern Africa

Huge swathes of southern Africa are experiencing severe floods which, it is feared, could turn into a regional disaster.

Red Cross National Societies in six countries – Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are bracing themselves for a flood emergency.

Early seasonal rains have pushed rivers above danger level in many places and some areas are already flooded.

Lois Austin, British Red Cross relief operations manager, said: “We are concerned about the level of flooding and are keeping a watching brief. Local Red Cross teams on the ground are responding and remain on standby should the situation deteriorate further.”

The Mozambique Red Cross has this week mustered all its forces in the north of the country in a so-far successful bid to help avert another major flood disaster.

Floods in the centre of the country a year ago killed 45 people and left more than a 250,000 homeless, while Cyclone Favio last February displaced another 140,000. The Red Cross has assisted in emergency evacuations and provided tents, tarpaulins, plastic sheets, mosquito nets, mattresses and other assistance to hundreds of families.

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund

Zambia and Zimbabwe have also been badly affected by encroaching floods over the past month.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is set to release £230,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to support the affected countries. Emergency funds had already been sent to Zimbabwe in December.


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