***Update on April 26 2019***
Mozambique is not calming down: Yesterday the second severe hurricane hit one of the poorest countries in the world within a few weeks. At least 30,000 people had to be evacuated. Violent winds destroyed many houses. In the coming hours and days, torrential rainfall and landslides are expected to destroy drinking water supplies and harvests.
The livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people are threatened. Helvetas' local specialists are preparing to help those affected immediately with clean drinking water and shelter.
***Update on March 28 2019***
Helvetas and Solidar Suisse are joining forces to help the affected people in Mozambique. Now immediately with the cleaning of wells so that the people have access to clean water again as quickly as possible. And in a second step with seeds, so that the affected people can rebuild their livelihood.
Thanks to donations, Helvetas can offer financial and technical support for relief measures in the drinking water and hygiene sectors. This week, Jürg Merz, Country Director of Helvetas Mozambique, visited the village of Namanthanda in the Sofala district. 300 people who have lost everything live there in a precarious emergency camp. Jürg Merz reports that the people have built makeshift latrines that are almost flooded by the floods. There is a great danger that the faeces will mix with the water and lead to diseases.
The flooding of the fields has destroyed virtually the entire harvest in the region. The harvest should have taken place in April. People will therefore urgently need seeds for the next growing season.
More than half the population in rural Mozambique have no access to clean drinking water. Dirty water is a threat to health and even life. Helvetas has been active in Mozambique since 1979, enabling people primarily in the northern provinces to get access to clean drinking water by building wells and other potable water facilities as well as latrines. We work closely together with rural communities and regional authorities to guarantee the sustainability of these infrastructure projects.
Helvetas supports the formation of local water management committees, which are in charge of the maintenance of the facilities and the fair distribution of this vital resource. Women attend literacy courses and join these committees and, in so doing, participate in public life. Helvetas also supports various cultural projects, such as radio programs, stage plays and dance pieces, that heighten political awareness and promote civic engagement among the population of Mozambique.
Due to the lack of adequate infrastructure as well as farming supplies and equipment, the productivity of small farmers in Mozambique is very low. They are also often embroiled in conflicts over the government’s sales of fertile land to foreign investors. Malnutrition is widespread. To overcome these obstacles and improve the situation, Helvetas promotes the formation of farmers’ organizations, which procure improved seeds and new technologies to reduce postharvest losses. Thanks to increased productivity as a result, smallholders can sell part of their crops. We support them in processing and marketing their produce.
Another point of main effort for us in Mozambique is vocational training. Young people get practically oriented training that enables them to find a decently-paid job or start up a small enterprise of their own. Our training programs prioritize the integration of young people with disabilities.
Visit the website of Helvetas Mozambique.
If you would like to know more about our work in Mozambique, click on each project for details.
Julius Nyerere Avenue
Phone: +258 21 487 787/8