Christian Aid Groups Rush to Assist Flood-Stricken Angola

Christian humanitarian agencies from around the world have united under the umbrella group Action by Churches Together (ACT) International to bring immediate aid to Angola as severe flooding have left some 90 people dead.

Meanwhile, reports say the rainfall is expected to rise between the end of February and early April, posing further challenges to the already thousands who have been displaced by the flooding, particularly in the worst-hit Luanda, the capital of the oil-rich African nation only now emerging from a 27-year civil war.

The ACT forum - the Reformed Evangelical Church of Angola (IERA), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Angolan Council of Christian Churches (CICA), Christian Aid (CA) and DanChurchAid (DCA) – have drawn up a list of immediate needs, including mosquito nets, food, tents, chlorine, iron sheets, domestic kits and clothes.

According to the forum members, areas in particularly urgent need are those where former internally displaced persons (IDPs) have already been living in fragile shelters without sanitation facilities and which offer no protection.

Thousands of IDPs are receiving humanitarian assistance at predefined reception centers in three areas that have been most affected in Luanda, the forum members reported.

The government of Angola posted a report on Reliefweb in which it estimated the number of families in Luanda left homeless by the floods to be around 10,000. Shelter camps have now been set up to accommodate people, the government has reported.

Meanwhile, cholera cases continue to soar to serious levels in Luanda, Huambo and Benguela, mainly due to a lack of access to clean drinking water or sewage facilities.

In Huambo alone, more than 500 cases, including 40 deaths, have been reported.

Flooding has also hit Mozambique, although Lutheran World Relief’s Mozambique representative, Philip Wijmans, said the situation is still under control.

In Zambia, ACT members the Lutheran World Federation Zambia and the Council of Churches in Zambia have been in contact with the Government's Disaster Management Unit (DMU) regarding details of floods in the country.