Mozambique: 850,000 displaced persons lack water and health services
Berlin, 23 September 2021
Johanniter launches comprehensive measures in Cabo Delgado
Since 2017, the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique has seen outbreaks of violence by various militias. Hundreds of people have already lost their lives, and around 850,000 displaced people have sought refuge in temporary camps or with relatives in the provinces of Niassa, Cabo Delgado, and Nampula. There, they are living in very difficult conditions. "Above all, their access to water and health care is not guaranteed," says David Prieto, Head of Mission for Johanniter in Mozambique.
In the province of Cabo Delgado Johanniter are almost the only German organization working in health and nutrition.
Together with local partners and the authorities, Johanniter has now developed an action plan to improve living conditions for the displaced.
Lifesaving relief supplies distributed
For example, 300 families in IDP camps around the city of Montepuez have just been assisted with water canisters, chlorine tablets, clothing and blankets. "Essentials such as hygiene material, tarpaulins to cover the shelters or clean water are not available for all people," Prieto continues. Therefore, soap, mosquito nets as well as tarpaulins and ropes to reinforce the makeshift dwellings are also distributed, to support people like Huayile Machude.Her hut consists of a few poles, straw bales and a tarpaulin. She and her family had to walk for a month from Mocimboa in the far north to the Upajo camp. The five women, three men and eight children walked 300 kilometres after gunmen attacked the village. With the rainy season approaching, Huayile wants another tarpaulin to reinforce the roof. The measures are supported by the German Embassy.
Long-term commitment in the region
In addition to these distributions, Johanniter is planning a series of measures to improve the health and nutrition situation in the coming months.
For example, mobile health services will be established and supported together with the partner organisation and local authorities, in order to be able to reach remote communities and refugees with medical services.
The province of Cabo Delgado is one of the poorest and most neglected regions in the country. According to the United Nations, 900,000 people across the region are food insecure. Around 75,000 children are acutely malnourished. Johanniter International Assistance has been active in Mozambique since the devastating cyclone Idai in 2019. In the particularly affected provinces of Sofala, Chimoio and Beira, they worked with partners to rebuild agriculture in affected communities and stabilise medical care in rural areas.