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Fri Oct 31 10:28:38 SAST 2014

SA help for Mozambicans displaced by floods

GRAEME HOSKEN | 30 January, 2013 00:00
People helped out flooded areas
Image by: SANPark official Helicopter pilot, Grant Knight

South Africans have opened their hearts to hundreds of thousands of Mozambicans made homeless by raging floods.

With the SA National Defence Force already airlifting to safety people trapped on roofs and in trees across flooded southern Mozambique, South Africans have heeded the calls for more assistance.

Within hours of humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers appealing for help, more than 100t of food, clothing and medical supplies were collected.

Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman said the organisation decided to help the more than 100000 people hit by the floods because the Mozambican government did not have sufficient resources.

"Together with the defence force, we're sending a team of doctors and nurses, along with food, purified water, water purification tablets and sanitary towels.

"The people are desperate and South Africans have answered the calls for help in the space of a few hours."

Sooliman said the biggest threats to the flood victims were hunger and thirst.

"Large amounts of crops have been destroyed and the water people are drinking is dirty. There's no food and people are eating dead animals and insects.

In some areas, whole villages have been submerged, increasing the danger of cholera, malaria and diarrhoea outbreaks," he said.

Defence force spokesman Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga said helicopter rescue missions had been flown since the floods started.

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