Floods leave 10 million homeless

Source: DPA | Published: Sunday March 12, 9:21 AM

MAPUTO - Health
ministers of five southern African countries said today that more than 10 million people had been displaced due to floods in four member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The health ministers of the five affected SADC countries, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, held a health conference in the Mozambican capital before visiting some of the country's provinces and towns worst hit by the recent floods.

Speaking at a press conference at Maputo airport, South African Health Minister Manto Tshabala-Msimang who chaired the meeting, said the ministers had decided to formulate an interim strategy for managing the region's flood crisis.

The ministers feared more people could fall prey to transmissible diseases because of chaotic water sanitation, especially in Mozambique.

To avoid an outbreak of diseases it was necessary that safe water was provided, that enough rehydration fluids were supplied for malaria cases and that foodstuffs reached the affected people, Zimbabwe's Health Minister Timothy Stamps said.

SADC's 14 member countries are: South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Mauritius, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Seychelles and Malawi.

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