Hope restored to flood-stricken farmers in Mozambique

Hope restored to flood-stricken farmers in Mozambique

14/05/2015

In early January 2015, heavy rains triggered massive flooding in the northern and central areas of Mozambique. An estimated 50 000 people have been displaced and the livelihoods of a further 160 000 have been affected by the floods, mainly in Nampula, Niassa and Zambézia provinces. Livestock was washed away, crop fields submerged, vital infrastructure (roads, bridges, irrigation schemes and markets) damaged and homes destroyed.

Belita Pereira Rodrigues, a mother of five, is one of the farmers affected. Before the floods, her family had two goats and over thirty chickens and chicks. In January the floodwaters took not only her livestock, but also her home, farming tools, silo and seed stocks. A former resident of Furquia village, Namacurra District, Zambezia Province, Rodrigues and her children have relocated to Mucoa Resettlement Centre.

Despite having lost everything, she feels hopeful thanks to the provision of an emergency livelihood kit with seeds and tools from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “Since January we have been depending on aid. Now, with these seeds and hoes FAO has given us, we will be able to resume agricultural production. Now, we can go on with our lives.”

For safety, Rodrigues plans on living on higher ground in the village and only growing crops in the lower fields as the land there is more fertile. She looks forward to planting the seeds FAO has provided her so that she and her family can again produce their own food, as well as be able to sell some at the market. Rodrigues also hopes to again be able to store her family’s harvests in a silo. 

“It is a precarious life we are living now. But we will invest in agriculture to recover,” Rodrigues said. “It is a great quantity of seeds we have received – it is enough to resume our lives. I have finally regained hope that the future will be good, thanks to the support FAO is giving us.”