FAO delivers emergency livelihood kits to flood-affected farmers in Zambézia and Sofala provinces

FAO delivers emergency livelihood kits to flood-affected farmers in Zambézia and Sofala provinces

21/05/2015

The floods in Mozambique earlier this year devastated cropland and private property in Nampula, Sofala, Tete and Zambézia Provinces. In addition to the loss of productive land, farmers also lost their livestock, seed stores and farming tools. The loss of these agricultural inputs meant that it would take longer and require more resources for the affected farmers to get back to their land, but with the timely intervention by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), working with the Government of Mozambique and a Non-governmental Organization, Kulima, agricultural production was resumed without delay.

In collaboration with the Government of Mozambique and Kulima, FAO is assisting about 11 000 flood-affected families from Sofala and Zambézia Provinces – some of the hardest hit by the January floods – through the provision of emergency livelihood kits. The kits – composed of seeds and farming tools – have already been delivered to Caia and Chemba Districts in Sofala Province and distribution has just begun in Zambézia Province.

Betino José, Director of the District Services for Economic Activities in Namacurra District, Zambézia Province, described the flooding as “the worst in the history of the district, both in terms of crop losses and the loss of human and animal lives.” Judite Moreira, a farmer who received one of the emergency livelihood kits at Mocua Resettlement Centre in Namacurra District, said she only managed to save herself and her children when they received the warning that they should move to higher ground. The farmer, a mother of three, said she lost “absolutely everything” because of the floods. 

FAO Mozambique’s objective is to assist the most vulnerable households to resume agricultural production. “Measured against the needs, which are obvious, this is a modest contribution,” Castro Camarada, FAO Country Representative, stated at the delivery of the kits in Mocua, “but it is significant for the revival of production activities by affected families.”

More than 100 000 ha of crops were damaged by the heavy rains, as well as by the subsequent floods and pests, affecting over 110 000 families in the central and northern regions of the country. Food and seed stocks have been washed away, leaving those who subsist on agricultural production to rely on food aid. An assessment conducted in February after the floods showed that, despite the devastation caused by the floods, the farmers were willing to get back to their fields and resume agricultural production.

Alberto Chidiamassamba, the coordinator of the recovery projects in both provinces, and Camarada visited affected areas, damaged irrigation systems and aquaculture ponds, as well as held meetings with the provincial and district governments and Food Security Cluster partners from civil society, other UN agencies and the Technical Secretariat for Food Security.

According Chidiamassamba, “FAO’s assistance will help these smallholder farmers and their families improve their food security.”