Progress made in SANDF Mozambique rescue mission

JANUARY 19, 2015

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says the rescue mission in Mozambique is progressing well.

This is after the government of flood-stricken Mozambique asked for help from the South African government.

SANDF personnel left the country for Mozambique last week. SANDF spokesperson Lieutenant General Mabanga said the team is expected to spend seven to 14 days in that country. 

“Their stay will depend on the situation in that country,” he said.   

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced because of torrential rains in Mozambique. Four people have died in Mocuba, one of two districts badly affected by flooding, while an estimated 5 000 have sought refuge in government shelters. 

The SANDF soldiers deployed in Mozambique include members of the South African Air Force, Navy divers and medical personnel. According to reports, the waters have risen to double the flooding threshold. 

Mabanga told SAnews that senior SANDF members will be going to Mozambique tomorrow to access the situation.

Meanwhile, Mabanga said no SANDF members have been deployed in Malawi, which is also hit by floods.  

The South African humanitarian group, Gift of the Givers, has distributed numerous relief parcels to families in that country, who were displaced by floods. 

The parcels - worth R500 each - contain staple food, blankets, eating utensils, water purification tablets and plastic sheets, the organisation's founder Imtiaz Sooliman said on Saturday. 

The eight-member team reached areas more than 100km away from Blantyre, according to Sooliman, and distribution will also be carried out in Chikwana, Nsanje, Mangochi, Machinga, Balaka, Zomba, Phalombe and Mulanje regions. –