Five Flooded Districts Close 90 Schools
Maputo, 16 Feb (AIM) – The governor of Maputo Province, Júlio Parruque, announced on Wednesday the suspension of classes in 90 state-owned schools, for seven days, in the districts affected by floods that have already displaced over 39,000 people, equivalent to over 7,800 households.
The schools will be closed in the districts of Boane, Namaacha, Magude, Manhiça, and Matola. All of these districts are in Maputo province.
The measure covers 64,498 pupils, 1,871 teachers and 267 other employees.
The torrential rains, together with the rising levels of the Incomati and Umbeluzi rivers, have forced thousands of people to abandon their homes in search of safety. Not only have schools been closed, but 11 of them have been turned into accommodation centres for flood victims.
Visiting the population of Boane and Namaacha, Parruque observed that “the situation is very chaotic. People need help; they have lost all their belongings.”
Addressing the population of Mahelane, in Namaacha, Parruque also spoke about the need for people to be attentive to the meteorological information that is regularly broadcast, so that they can save themselves from the danger of future storms and floods.
“The rain is heavy, we are all affected. Maputo province is strongly affected. Life must come first, so we must agree to stay in accommodation centres, in schools and churches”, the governor said.
“Stay there and wait for government orders to return to your homes. We must take care of each other, especially the children”, he added, highlighting cholera and malaria as among the main threats that characterize the rainy season.
“We must watch out for cases of cholera. We must always wash our hands and meet the hygiene measures”, he stressed. (Currently there are cholera outbreaks in several central and northern provinces, but no cases of the disease have so far been reported from Maputo).
However, some people, still surrounded by flood waters in the Eduardo Mondlane and Mazambanine areas, in Boane district, are refusing to abandon their homes and belongings. They do not want to cross to the other side of the waters, where they would be safe.
According to these people, abandoning their homes is the same as opening doors for thieves “there are many opportunistic people who, when we leave, will come and carry off all our belongings.”
Reacting to this situation, the governor assured them “we will put the police command on alert to protect the abandoned houses. We have to leave the endangered areas. Our lives come first. We must save ourselves first.”
During the visit, Parruque also proceeded with the delivery of foodstuffs, blankets and clothing items to the victims of the floods, now concentrated in the accommodation centres.
“Donations should go to those who have been affected by the floods, those who have lost all their belongings. They should continue to register the names of those who have been affected”, he said.