Beneficiary proof her identity to receive food in Funhalouro district, Inhambane province. Photo: Z. Isac Mundiara, Save the Children / 2016
About COSACA Consortium
COSACA is emergency and humanitarian consortium comprised by Save the Children Care, Oxfam. The consortium responds to floods, droughts and cyclones emergencies. Idai and Kenneth represents the ultimate response. We save lives and we support children and their families for reunification and start over again.
Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world in ranking third to last in the 187-country Humanitarian Development Index of 2012, also is classified as one of the world’s most vulnerable countries with regards to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Its vulnerability is highlighted by its rating at 7 (extreme) on the UNDP/UNEP Global Disaster Risk index, emphasizing the need to focus on prevention and disaster preparedness. As much as 25 percent of the population is at risk from natural hazard and drought affects by far the largest number of people. The majority of the population is highly dependent on artisanal fishing and rain fed agricultural production and has limited to no capacity to overcome the consequences of these disasters.
799,380 km² of landmass, 2,515 km of coastline, 23 million people and 11 provinces that is Mozambique also ranks it third amongst the African countries most exposed to risks from multiple weather-related hazards, suffering from periodic floods, cyclones and droughts. Droughts occur primarily in the southern and central regions, with a frequency of 7 in 10 and 4 in 10 years, respectively. Floods occur every 2-3 years along major river basins, low coastal plains, and areas with drainage problems. The risk is highest in the central and southern region. Cyclones affect the entire coast, but with highest wind impact along the northern area, from October to April, with frequencies of about 1-2 in 4 years, depending on the regions.
In 15 years between 1999 and 2013, eight times Mozambique was struck by natural disasters aggravating food insecurity and raising questions of the resilience of communities in the face of disasters and climate change. According to the World Disasters Report, between 1987 and 2006, disasters affected 19.2 million people in Mozambique. The major floods in southern Mozambique in 2000, and in the Zambezi valley in 2001, 2007 and 2008, displaced hundreds of thousands of Mozambicans and required large-scale reconstruction and resettlement programmes. In 2007, 2008, and 2012 the coast of Mozambique was hit by major cyclones, which caused widespread destruction of homes, infrastructure and crops. Approximately 500,000 people need food aid in different parts of Mozambique every year, at the present 255,000 people are receiving direct food assistance because of drought.
Climate change will increase extreme weather patterns, based on observed trends and future scenarios. Historical records from 1960-2005 point to a warming trend in central and north Mozambique of 1.1 - 1.6º Centigrade in maximum temperatures and to significant increases in duration of heat waves, as well as a delay in the start of the rainfall season. By 2040-2060, maximum temperatures are expected to increase by 2.5-3.0º C in the interior. Thus, future weather is expected to exacerbate current climate variability, leading to more intense droughts, unpredictable rains, floods and uncontrolled fires. Future models predict a 25 percent increase in magnitude of large flood peaks in the Limpopo and Save and a reduction in Zambezi river flow of 15 percent, requiring a major rethinking in power consumption strategies. The Zambezi, Save and Limpopo rivers could experience saline intrusions up to 30 km inland. The intensity and frequency of cyclones is also expected to increase in a future climate. Hence, critical sectors that will be at increasing risk include agriculture, infrastructure, power, water and sanitation, and health and nutrition.