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Nearly 150,000 displaced by Mozambique floods

Aid agencies struggle to help communities inundated for almost a week, as death toll rises to 80.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2013 17:30
About 30 camps have been set up to house those displaced by floods [AFP]

Widespread flooding in southern Mozambique has displaced about 143,000 people and aid agencies are struggling to assist communities inundated for nearly a week, officials have said.

The death toll from the flooding in the lower Limpopo river has risen to 80 people, authorities said on Wednesday.

Aid groups said supplies of drugs and malaria test kits were running low, raising concerns about the spread of disease.

In the hardest-hit town of Chokwe, only six of 23 medical facilities were working and there were no ambulances, aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres said.

Those displaced by floods are being housed in 30 camps built by the government with the help of the United Nations. 

"The Mozambican government and aid organisations are struggling to respond to the needs," the UN said.

Meanwhile, floodwaters have begun receding in the the country and residents have begun returning to Chokwe.

Jennifer Topping, the UN Resident Coordinator for Mozambique who visited Chokwe to assess its needs, said that Mozambique will require much help to get life back to normal. 

The UN said earlier this week that at least $15m would initially be needed in relief aid for the country.

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