Maputo, 1 Mar (AIM) – Families, who have lost their homes and belongings due to the heavy rainfall of February, have called for urgent intervention by the authorities in order to rehouse them.
The families in question are residents of Hulene neighbourhood, on the outskirts of Maputo City. As a result of the continuous rainfall, some residences were submerged and others have collapsed.
“We are asking for the support of the authorities. The neighbourhood of Hulene is always forgotten. This time we are asking them to look at us. We have nothing, we need help, and we lost everything. We need land at least”, said a victim named Celeste Calisto.
They say they have nothing to eat, since their food reserves have been swallowed by the fury of the waters.
“I tried to resist, I tried to make a barrier so that the water would not invade my house. But all the effort was in vain because the rain, with its intensity, brought everything down and flooded every house”, said Eugénio Bila, adding that “the authorities should allocate land to the victims because they have nowhere to go.”
For Salvador Magaia, a victim who witnessed the collapse of a wall of his house, “right now, the government must come up with a solution to help people. Shelter is urgent because we have nowhere to go. The best thing would be the provision of land.”
Although tropical cyclone Freddy has dissipated, rain continued to fall in Maputo on Tuesday and Wednesday. Matters are made much worse by breaks in the water pipes operated by the government’s Water Supply Investment and Assets Fund (FIPAG).
“The cut of the FIPAG pipes make the situation worse. We have lost everything, totally everything. But we still haven’t had any help from the authorities. We are left to our fate”, said Elísio, another victim.
Some people, however, are hesitant to leave the area for fear that opportunists will invade their homes to steal materials such as doors, windows, zinc sheets, beams, electricity meters and taps.
“Before I remove all the materials, I’m not leaving here. There are many thieves who take advantage of the opportunity to take away what little we can still reuse”, said Osvaldo Matos.
There is still no official data about the number of people affected in this neighbourhood, but our report, listening to several sources, points to more than a hundred families, composed especially of women, children and elderly people.