The support of Sant’Egidio for the Hulene dump hit by severe flooding

Losses among the poorest due to heavy rain falling in Mozambique

The rainy season  that started in Mozambique beginning of January, has already cause many damages to the population in different parts of the country, as this year it seems to be stronger than usual. Only last week, the heavy rain hit the capital city of Maputo causing the severe collapse of the Hulene  “lixeria” (dump).

Located at the edge of the city, the dump is the place where many poor families strive to survive by collecting and selling recyclable materials for 50 cents per kilogram.  Many children live in self-build shelters close to the dump spending all day long  looking for something profitable in the steaming garbage. Over just one night the heavy rain and the collapse have destroyed all these insecure accommodations and the nearby shelters causing many casualties. All houses have been buried, 21 people died, others saved from the ruins, the rest are wounded and hospitalised. More than 34 families – counting roughly 328 members – are in need of water, food, clothes and educational material enabling children to attend school.

The Community of Sant’Egidio, in conjunction with DREAM and Youth for Peace in Matola, have immediately visited those affected by the tragedy. They are now assembled in a tents-camp made available by the municipality of  Maputo. Nearly everyone has lost everything: house, relatives. In some cases they have seeing their parents dying and are now totally alone. An aid-collection has been decisively organized in a number of schools  thanks to the Youth for Peace movement. There is the need of educational material for children, books, notepads and school bags. A first distribution of care packages - medicine, clothes and cookware - was possible thanks to a collection organized by the mothers of children attending the nutritional center of Sant’Egidio and the local residents in Matola.

Medical practitioners,  part of the DREAM programme, were also involved in the distribution. They assisted and monitored the poor conditions of the children, worsen by the environment of the camp. Some are now affected by malaria and gastro-intestinal and respiratory infections. Women of the Community went to see the wounded at the hospital. They met with Cecilia - three years old, she lost six relatives – and with Abdul – seven years old, he lost all the members of his family.

Collections, distributions, visits and friendship will now be increased  for all those who have lost everything and everyone.