In Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, nearly 730,000 people have fled violent clashes between Mozambican security forces and their allies and a radical armed group affiliated to the Islamic State. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is providing an emergency response to the problems of access to water, sanitation and hygiene faced by the displaced population and host communities, as well as offering direct food aid.
The province of Cabo Delgado, in north-eastern Mozambique, is in the grip of an insurgency led by an armed group affiliated to the “Islamic State in Central Africa” (IS-CAP). The abuses perpetrated by this group have continued to escalate since 2018. Civilians have been victims of killings, rapes, forced marriages, abductions, recruitment of child soldiers, looting and pillaging. By the summer of 2021, it was estimated that more than 2,000 people had died as a result of these attacks and nearly 730,000 people had been displaced. The rate of population shifts has recently increased following the attack on the town of Palma (to the south of which lies the major Total-led gas project), repeated assaults on the Quitunda and Afungi areas, the prospect of further offensives by the Mozambican army and the deployment of Rwandan and Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops.
As a result, transit sites are now overflowing and host towns and villages have seen their populations explode. Alerted by the scale of the security and humanitarian crisis in this particularly poor province, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL teams went to the area to assess the needs of the affected populations and determine the types of the relief to be provided. At the end of its exploratory mission and in coordination with the competent authorities, our organisation undertook to provide displaced people with emergency aid in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as food, shelter, mosquito nets, blankets and other essentials.
Thus, thanks to the support of its financial partners – UNICEF and the Start Fund – and the support of the World Food Programme and the International Organization for Migration, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has, for some weeks now, been providing drinking water, emergency latrines and hygiene kits to displaced persons in the transit centres of Mueda. They will soon be replicating that in those in Nangade. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is also distributing kits to newly displaced households in the Mueda district to cover their basic needs.
In this district, our teams are also working to improve sanitary conditions, to support access to water and to promote basic hygiene practices in the sites intended to welcome displaced people but also within the host communities. This is a new intervention in the country for SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL, which carried out activities in Mozambique in 2019 following the devastating passage of Cyclone Idai.
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© Chris Huby