2000 Mozambique flood

The 2000 Mozambique flood was a natural disaster that occurred in February and March 2000. The catastrophic flooding was caused by heavy rainfall that lasted for five weeks and made many homeless. Approximately 700 people were killed. 1,400 km2 of arable land was affected and 20,000 head of cattle were lost. It was the worst flood in Mozambique in 50 years.[2]

2000 Mozambique flood
An MH-53M Pave Low IV helicopter approaches the refueling basket of an MC-130P Combat Shadow.jpg
American helicopter flying over flooded Limpopo River in Mozambique
DateFebruary–March 2000
LocationSouthern Mozambique
Deaths700–800 total[1]
Property damage$500 million (2000 USD)[nb 1]

It started in South Africa when heavy rain falls traveled over to Mozambique. It caused dozens of deaths. 44,000 were left homeless and many of them had lost relatives of some kind. Later, Cyclone Eline came and destroyed many more homes and lives. The women and children were hurrying to shelter and high land. 800 had died and thousands of livestock were killed. The government distributed 15 million dollars (2000 USD) to its citizens to account for damage property and loss of income. As of 2016, people were still living in recovery shelters with fluctuating water supplies.

Meteorological historyEdit

In October and November 1999, heavy rainfall affected Mozambique, followed by a period of heavy rainfall in January 2000.[3] By the end of January 2000, the rains caused the Incomati, the Umbeluzi, and the Limpopo rivers to exceed their banks, inundating portions of the capital Maputo.[4] At Chókwè, the Limpopo River reached a level of 6 m (20 ft) on January 24, twice its normal level.[5] Some areas received a year's worth of rainfall in two weeks.[6] The resultant floods were considered the worst to affect the nations since 1951.[1]

Flooding was beginning to recede in late February by the time Cyclone Eline made landfall.[7] Eline was a long-lasting tropical cyclone that struck near Beira at peak intensity on February 22.[1] By the end of February 2000, the situation was considered the country's worst natural disaster in a century.[8]


By late February, the flooding had already caused increases in malaria and diarrhea. Flooding also disrupted water supply and covered roads,[5] with the primary north-south highway cut in three locations.[9] Widespread areas were inundated, which displaced about 220,000 people,[6] and killed about 150 people before Eline struck.[10]

The combined effects of the preceding floods and Eline left about 463,000 people displaced or homeless,[11] including 46,000 children five years old or younger.[12] Overall, the preceding floods and Eline caused about 700 deaths,[1] half in Chokwe.[13] with damage estimated at $500 million (2000 USD).[1] The cyclone and the floods disrupted much of the economic progress Mozambique had made in the 1990s since the end of its civil war.[14]


Before the arrival of Eline, the government of Mozambique appealed to the international community for assistance in response to the flooding, and countries were beginning to provide relief.[1] Mozambique's president at the time, Joaquim Chissano, requested for additional aid after Eline struck,[15] asking for $65 million for both reconstruction and emergency aid,[16] and later increasing the request to $160 million.[17] By March 17, various countries had pledged $119 million to Mozambique.[11] By March 4, 39.6 tons of various relief goods reached the country,[18] which nearly overwhelmed the small airport at Maputo.[19]

The government of the Netherlands donated ƒ5 million guilders (US$2.2 million) to the country, after it previously had donated about ƒ2 million guilders (US$871,000).[16] The Italian government earmarked ₤10 billion lira (2000 ITL), half of which for immediate emergency assistance,[20] and Denmark earmarked €2.68 million euros.[21] Sweden sent kr10 million (2000 SEK) and Ireland €507,000 to the World Food Programme.[22][23] Portugal delivered 40 tons worth of aid, including food, medicine, tents, and dinghies,[24] and the Spanish Red Cross sent two flights of aid.[25] Canada provided about $11.6 million (CAD) to Mozambique,[26] while the United States provided $7 million worth of food via its Agency for International Development,[27] part of its $50 million contribution.[28] The European Community Humanitarian Aid Office provided €25 million in early March.[29] Botswana donated P23 million pula (BWP, US$5 million),[30] and Mauritius provided about $100,000 (USD).[31] The nation of Ghana flew $100,000 worth of food and clothing to Mozambique.[32] Australia also provided $1 million to the country,[33] and Saudi Arabia flew two planes' worth of aid.[34] Concern Worldwide allocated $650,000 (USD) at the end of February.[35] Médecins Sans Frontières sent a crew of five people to Buzi to help residents.[36] The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sent $350,000 to CARE in early March.[37] Through the Jubilee 2000, most wealthy nations postponed debt payments for one year.[38] The United Kingdom canceled its $150 million debt in late February,[39] and Italy canceled its $500 million debt in March.[40]

The Mozambique government used boats to evacuate residents in flood zones,[41] setting up 121 camps for evacuees.[11] However, the country had a limited capacity for widespread rescues due to insufficient helicopters.[42] South Africa sent a fleet of twelve planes and helicopters to operate search and rescue missions, as well as airdropping food.[43] They were assisted by two helicopters from Malawi, six from the United Kingdom, and ten from Germany.[44][45][46] By March 7, the fleet of 29 helicopters had rescued 14,204 people.[47][48] Residual floodwaters contributed to outbreaks of malaria and cholera,[49] with malaria infections at four times the usual rate killing at least 11 people.[50][51] Areas in southern Mozambique also lost access to clean water, furthering dehydration and illnesses.[52] In addition, the United Nations Mine Action Service expressed concern that the floods shifted the locations of landmines left over from the nation's civil war.[53] Later, the remnants of Cyclone Gloria halted relief work due to heavy rainfall.[54] Residents began returning home in early March after floodwaters receded.[55]


  1. ^ All damage totals are in 2000 values of their respective currencies.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cyclone Season 1999–2000. RSMC La Reunion (Report). Meteo-France. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  2. ^ Floods take a serious economic toll Archived 2007-01-11 at the Wayback Machine, Africa Recovery, 14(3):13
  3. ^ Frances Christie and Joseph Halon (2001). Mozambique & the Great Flood of 2000. Indianan University Press. p. 16. ISBN 0-253-33978-2.
  4. ^ "Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1". United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. ReliefWeb. 2000-01-26. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  5. ^ a b "Mozambique: Limpopo Flood Reaches Chokwe". ReliefWeb. Pan African News Agency. 2000-01-24. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  6. ^ a b "Tropical storm threatens flood-ravaged Mozambique". Disaster Relief. 2000-02-18. Retrieved 2014-09-01.
  7. ^ "Cyclone reaches Mozambique's southern Inhambane province". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-02-21. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
  8. ^ "Mozambique floods situation report 29 Feb 2000". US Fund for UNICEF. ReliefWeb. 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
  9. ^ "Floods Cut Main Highway In Three Places". ReliefWeb. Pan African News Agency. 2000-02-06. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  10. ^ Emelia Sithole (2000-02-23). "Mozambique's Chissano urges post-cyclone aid". ReliefWeb. Reuters. Retrieved 2014-09-04.
  11. ^ a b c "Mozambique: Ross Mountain praised media's role and international solidarity floods". United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-17. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  12. ^ "Mozambique Emergency Bulletin 3: 07 Mar 2000". Save the Children. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-07. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  13. ^ "Mozambique's flood death toll rises to nearly 700". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-04-03. Retrieved 2014-09-29.
  14. ^ "Trocaire launches appeal for Mozambique flood victims". Trócaire. ReliefWeb. 2000-02-24. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  15. ^ Cynthia Long (2000-02-23). "Mozambique to appeal for aid in wake of Cyclone Eline". Disaster Relief. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  16. ^ a b "The Netherlands gives 7 million guilders in aid to Mozambique". Government of the Netherlands. ReliefWeb. 2000-02-24. Retrieved 2014-09-04.
  17. ^ "Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 20". United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-22. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  18. ^ "Mozambique Shudders Over Another Cyclone". ReliefWeb. Pan African News Agency. 2000-03-04. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
  19. ^ "Too much, Too late: Aid now pours into Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Reuters. 2000-03-07. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  20. ^ "Italy: 10 billion liras earmarked to assist Mozambique". Government of Italy. ReliefWeb. 2000-02-25. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  21. ^ "Denmark allocates emergency flood aid to Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-03-01. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  22. ^ "Decision on extra money for Mozambique". Government of Sweden. ReliefWeb. 2000-02-28. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  23. ^ "Ireland to send half million euros to flood-hit Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-02-28. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  24. ^ "Portugal sends 40 tonnes of aid for flood-hit Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-02-28. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  25. ^ "Mozambique: Cruz Roja Española ha recaudado más de 100 millones de pesetas en cuatro días". Cruz Roja Española (in Spanish). ReliefWeb. 2000-03-01. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  26. ^ "Maria Minna Announces Additional $10 Million for Flood Victims in Mozambique". Canadian International Development Agency. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-08. Retrieved 2014-09-20.
  27. ^ "USAID Provide 7 Million Food Aid to Mozambique". United States Agency for International Development. ReliefWeb. 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
  28. ^ Jim Garamone (2000-03-27). "U.S. Military Relief Effort in Mozambique Winds Down". American Forces Press Service. Archived from the original on 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  29. ^ "European Commissioner Poul Nielson announces more than 25 Million Euro in aid for victims of the Mozambican floods". European Commission Humanitarian Aid department. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-03. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
  30. ^ "Botswana Comes To The Rescue Of Zimbabwe, Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Pan African News Agency. 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
  31. ^ "Mauritius offers 100,000 dollars to Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Pan African News Agency. 2000-03-02. Retrieved 2014-09-11.
  32. ^ "Ghana donates to Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Pan African News Agency. 2000-03-03. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
  33. ^ "Australian Assistance for Mozambique Floods". Australian Agency for International Development. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-04. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
  34. ^ "Saudi Arabia, Kuwait to send aid to Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-03-05. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
  35. ^ "Concern: 300,000 people affected by floods in Mozambique". Concern Worldwide. ReliefWeb. 2000-02-28. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  36. ^ "Inondations - Médecins du Monde envoie une équipe d'urgence au Mozambique". Médecins Sans Frontières (in French). ReliefWeb. 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
  37. ^ "CARE receives $350,000 grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Mozambique aid". CARE. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-07. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  38. ^ "Mozambique: Debt payments suspended". IRIN. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  39. ^ "Mozambique: Britain cancels debt in response to floods". IRIN. ReliefWeb. 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
  40. ^ "Italy plans to cancel 500 mln dlrs of Mozambique's debt". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-03-02. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
  41. ^ Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 9. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Report). ReliefWeb. 2000-02-24. Retrieved 2014-09-04.
  42. ^ Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 10. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Report). ReliefWeb. 2000-02-27. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  43. ^ "More South African aircraft sent to aid flooded Mozambique". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
  44. ^ Raphael Tenthani (2000-02-26). "Malawi Helicopters Assist Mozambican". Pan African News Agency. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  45. ^ "Mozambique: Demand for more disaster assistance". IRIN. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-03. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  46. ^ "Germany boosts Mozambique aid, Italian MPS want intervention". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-03-02. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  47. ^ Chris McGreal (2000-03-07). "Mozambique: Amid the filth, the first sign of disease". Mail and Guardian. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  48. ^ "Mozambique - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 13". United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-03. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
  49. ^ "Mozambique Floods: Concern expands emergency relief operation". Concern Worldwide. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-01. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  50. ^ "100 000 still trapped by waters and one million homeless". Mail and Guardian. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-02. Retrieved 2014-09-11.
  51. ^ "Malaria kills 11 Mozambican flood survivors". ReliefWeb. Agence France-Presse. 2000-03-28. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  52. ^ "Corpses in water deadly Moz hazard". Mail and Guardian. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-07. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  53. ^ "Mozambique: WFP to take food to families marooned on rooftops". United Nations Department of Public Information. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-01. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  54. ^ "WFP Emergency Report No. 10 of 2000". World Food Programme. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-10. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  55. ^ "People fleeing Chokwe in case of renewed flooding". Médecins Sans Frontières. ReliefWeb. 2000-03-04. Retrieved 2014-09-19.

External linksEdit