13 February 2007

Medical mission and flooding

Just a quick update on this last weekend's trip.

We flew the medical outreach team to Inhambane where they travelled four hours inland with them to a place called Panda.

They ran clinics practically all day, every day as there was an almost endless queue of people from the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, we also flew two hours north to Moz's second city Beira from where he flew a Zambezi flood survey flight the following day. We carried people representing the Christian organisations Food for the Hungry and Humedica. There were also people from Red Cross, World Food Programme and the Mozambican Organisation for National Disasters.

Is there flooding - yes.
Did we see huts surrounded by water - yes.
Under water - yes.
Have people been displaced - yes.
Did we see people stranded on the roofs of their huts or clinging to trees - no.
Were there any villages floating downstream - no.

The situation is of concern but not yet a fully fledged disaster. However, the volatile nature of the situation (rains and dam release upstream) does mean that all that could change in less than a week. Aid organisations are busy mobilising themselves at strategic locations along the river in order to be able to help if the need arises.

We are off again tomorrow taking pastors from Cape Town up to visit their missionaries (who actually live on the banks of the Zambezi). Whilst there, we have been asked to fly in some personnel and equipment for one such relief organisation. We will also do another survey flight further upstream from the one we did last weekend.

Mercy Air team

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