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Photo: O País
Five districts in northern Mozambique are isolated after rain destroyed bridges and roads, a situation that has worsened in the last week and has left goods trucks stranded.
About 40 trucks, with goods and humanitarian food support, were stopped on Monday in the middle of what was supposed to be an alternative route from the provincial capital, Pemba, to the districts of Palma, Nangade, Mueda, Mocímboa da Praia and Muidumbe.
The vehicles were in the woods on a dirt road that began to be used as a substitute road about a month and a half ago when two bridges of the paved road (EN380) collapsed.
However, the alternative road is also very degraded, the vehicles get bogged down when the rain is intense or are blocked by the rising water level, as happens in the Muilo river, where the bridge also gave way and the vehicles cross the bed when the flow calms down, police and drivers said.
When they are held back, some wait for the rains to pass to try to drive again, others wait for the help of backhoe loaders to unlock the trucks or to transfer cargo.
Among the heavy goods vehicles stopped on Monday, there were at least ten with the seal of the World Food Programme, loaded with food aid, with the rest carrying various goods, and the regular supply of the five isolated districts is in question.
This alternative route where the vehicles face difficulties since last week is a 160km connection between Nacololo (Montepuez district) and Pedreira Chudi (Mueda district).
The national road 380 (EN80), the only paved road linking the north and south of the province, has been impassable for about a month and a half after two bridges fell over the rivers Montepuez and Messalo.
The Mozambican authorities have works in progress to try to restore the crossings, while the bridges are being repaired, but they also face difficulties in getting material and equipment to the sites.
In the isolated region, there are about 150,000 people who have already lost property or have been forced to abandon homes and properties due to attacks by rebel groups that have been taking place since 2017, affecting communities that are still suffering the destruction caused by Cyclone Kenneth, which hit them a year ago.
The largest private investment in Africa, estimated at $50 billion, is under construction in Palma district, regarding the set of megaprojects of natural gas exploration in the Rovuma Basin.
However, oil consortia have resorted to the displacement of people and materials by air for security reasons, according to some users.
The current rainy season, from October to April, has killed 54 people and affected about 65,000 people in Mozambique, many with flooded homes, according to data from the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC).Source: O País
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