South Africa’s sending troops to help rescue operations in flood-stricken areas of Mozambique.
Members of the South African National defence force had crossed to border to assess the needs the country’s eastern neighbour even as President Jacob Zuma joined leaders in Maputo attending the inauguration of President Felipe Nyusi.
Heavy rains have caused flooding particularly in the central Zambezia province that’s cost at least ten lives and displaced 20 000 in Mozambique – submerging part of the major north-south road traversing the country.
South Africa’s military spokesman says they’ll deploy two medium transport helicopters, navy divers and personnel from the military Health Service.
Eighteen children are missing in Mocuba in Zambezia province, where the Licungo River’s overflowed its banks.
Flooding is commonplace in Mozambique early in the new year which is the height of the rainy season.
For decades South African military personnel have been involved in rescue operations and supplying food to people who have lost their homes and their crops.
Fifteen years ago South African helicopters leading the operation plucked more than 900 people from the treetops that some had been clinging to for up to five days.
Mozambique relies heavily on financial assistance from Western the powers to mitigate flood damage.
But it is to its neighbour that it turns for the immediate rescue assistance.