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Flooding of up to six feet has ravaged homes and businesses in Chokwe, Mozambique over the past week, killing 38 people and displacing over 150,000.
According to Opportunity Mozambique’s head of branch network, Lusungu Kaunda, “The office is badly damaged and more importantly, over half of our 2,600 clients in the rural village have lost their homes and/or businesses due to the rising waters and subsequent looting. Thirteen of our 15 staff have literally lost everything. We have moved them to accommodations in the next town and provided necessities including food.”
Opportunity Mozambique’s CEO, Ian Campbell, reported that the leadership team coordinated an immediate response to secure the branch and move staff to safety. “We are checking on clients one by one as quickly as conditions allow. We hope and pray the losses are limited to property damage, which alone is devastating for these families who have worked so hard to get ahead. Thankfully, it appears our rice farmers on higher land have come through okay. We are grateful to Chokwe branch manager, Jacob Vaila and his staff who reacted quickly to move valuable IT equipment and client files upstairs at the first hint of trouble.”
Today, nearly a week later, water has begun to recede; the banking hall remains covered in mud. Chokwe is not yet habitable but efforts continue to assess loss, compile information for insurance claims and begin clean-up. Opportunity Mozambique will relocate one of its mobile bank vans to the area so we can begin the massive undertaking of helping clients and staff rebuild.
Join with us in keeping our clients and staff in Mozambique in your thoughts and prayers.