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Horrible Floods in Mozambique

From Mozambique:

“... I was so shocked because I had never seen so much water in the Zambezi. It is true that there was more water this year than in 2000 or 2001 or the flood we had last year."

I am passing on this report from one of Heidi Baker’s grown-up Mozambican boys. He recently went to view the flood regions of Mozambique. The situation is very bad and the worst in years. And it may soon get worse. PLEASE PRAY and PLEASE CONSIDER HOW YOU MAY HELP! And Please pass the word, feel free to forward this…  -Sandi

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Report from IRIS Ministries in Mozambique, Africa:

From Norberto Sango

Date: Feb. 2008

I left Monday with Joe, we flew to Morrumbala.  We took Photo is from a previous year's flooding. This year's flooding is worse.
off from there to fly over the Zambezi river. As we
were flying about 200-300 feet high, I was so shocked
because I had never seen so much water in the Zambezi.
It is true that there was more water this year than in
2000 or 2001 or the flood we had last year. I've never
seen so much devastation from a flood - I would say
hundreds and hundreds of houses under the water.  We
followed the Zambezi from Morrumbala toward Caia. We
saw so many people that were still being trapped by
the water.  I believe the government still did not see
many of those people because you could only see them
from the sky or a boat.  I believe it would be really easy to rescue
people with a boat because there are many places you
cannot drive to.  And also looking down, I found a lot
of people have lost 1000's of acres of farms and I
believe so many of our churches near the Zambezi were
washed away.
Photo from the 2000 floods, not as severe as this year's. It seems the government is not helping - perhaps is not finding - all the victums to rescue them. If we thought Hurricane Katrina left people stranded, how about this?  -Sandi
Basically every house is underwater and there was
nothing we could do.  I was just really praying and
thinking that I wish we just had a helicopter because
there was so many people just waving and needing
rescue but we could not pick them up because we were
in an airplane. We did fly a little bit in Beira and
we found that even in Beira a lot of places have been
flooded.  Then we flew into Tete where there had never
been any flooding. We flew at 4500 feet and looked
over Tete - the flooding was really bad and the water
had taken over many places in Tete.  The Zambezi had
cut lines through the city, wiping out everything in

This photo is of the Feb 2007 Floods, which were not as bad as the 2008 floods. This year, most of the people are constantly in several inches of water. Spread of Disease is a grave -- and real -- concern.
the low places and leaving many people stranded on
islands. A lot of people were waving and asking if we
could help them, but there was nothing we could do.

I went with one of the teams to take the food to the
camps.  It's not fair to see people living in those
kind of conditions because a lot of people don't have
any medical supplies or food.  We took trucks with 200
bags of rice and 18 bags of beans to the camp.  You
can see that the people had been waiting a long time
and were only living on black fish they got out of the
river.  A lot of people don't have any tents and were
making houses out of grass that they had cut. The
houses were about 10 feet by 10 feet and some of the
families had 6 people in that small house.  The land
wasn't very clean like the land we saw last time -
basically that people are tearing everything with
their bare hands because they don't have machetes or
hoes to clear the land. There was a lot of joy when we
handed out the food to the people, but there were so
many people at the camps we passed that looked so sad
because we had no food for them.  It is true that
there is so much more help that is needed and many
people that need food and need to be rescued.

On Wednesday evening, I went to speak to a man who was
a victim and ask him a couple questions.  I asked him
how bad the floods were, and he told me that they had
never seen so much water before and he had never seen
so many of the farms wiped away.  Everything had been
washed away by the current including their pots and
pans. As we were talking, he told me that the day
before the team got there, there were 6 people in two
canoes trying to cross the river.  The current caught
the canoes and flipped them.  There were 4 men and 1
woman with a baby in a capulana. The woman managed to
hang onto a stalk of sugar but when she looked behind
her the baby had slipped out of the capulana. The
woman was the only survivor, and the man took me to
the place where it happened. I was sitting with this
guy and he told me so many people were trapped by the
water.

On the 6th, while one man was trying to catch fish to
feed his family, a crocodile came up and ripped off
the flesh off the man's left arm and thigh.  There was
a man that came alongside and started beating the
crocodile until it left the first man alone.  I could
not take pictures because I did not think the
government would want me to.  The man got taken to
Kilimani hospital, but already the man had lost so
much blood that he was not coherent.  There are so

 A photo from the 2000 floods, not as bad as this year's floods.
many crocodiles and many people have been attacked or
eaten by the crocodiles. There are many people that
have tried to cross the floodwaters and so many of
them have been attacked by crocodiles.  It's really
horrible.

For a lot of people it's hard because their houses are
in the water and they cannot stay on their roofs
because they don't have the nice metal roofs.  I
believe disease is going to be a real problem because
many people are just standing in a couple inches of
water.  Malaria is going to be really bad and so is
foot swelling because everyone is just standing in
water all day.  A lot of people really need clothes
and plastic bags on the roofs.  The kids need clothes,
blankets, and plastic bags and they really need teams
of people to play with the people and tell them Jesus
loves them and that someone cares about them.  I
believe this is an opportunity for the worldwide
church to come and show God's love to these people.

There must be people that are willing to go and play
with the kids - a lot of the schools are under water
and the kids can not go to school.  Instead of just
feeding people, I believe there is something else the
Holy Spirit wants us to do - if we can buy rice seed
and bean seed and corn meal along with hoes, the
people will have a harvest in a couple months.  This
will help the people a lot because most of the people
live through agriculture anyway. We feel like this
will be a tool to help us invest in the people and
give them something a lot more lasting than a little
rice.

From what I've seen, this is a really huge disaster.
I don't know how long Mozambique is going to take to
recover from this.  So many schools are underwater and
many bridges were destroyed.  The people need food,
they need help, they need Jesus - they just need a lot
of help.  We have a team in Morrumbala buying and
handing out food, but we need so many more people.
But this isn't the worst of it - I heard that Zimbabwe
(or Zambia) has 5 dams that they are going to open up
soon.  It's not Zimbabwe's fault - they really have no
choice or their country will be flooded too. When this
happens, the damage will be unbelievable...

Pass on the message for people to pray about how they
can help us. Whether they send money, food, or come
themselves to help, we need all we can get.”

 PLEASE NOTE: The photos displayed here are of previous year's floods in Mozambique, and not of this year's actual flooding. -Sandi Sawyerr