No food, no life
Pregnant mother Sofia, 26, waits patiently in line. Here, there are no special privileges for pregnant women; Sofia is treated the same as anyone else in the noisy crowd. She’s currently staying in a resettlement area in central Mozambique, which houses some of the people displaced by severe flooding earlier this year. Floods washed away livelihoods and left thousands homeless. Today the crowd is here to meet with the local authorities.
“I am hoping for good news,” Sofia says. Like the others in the crowd, Sofia is hoping the local authorities will have brought food supplies with them. “I am left with just half a kilogram of corn flower to feed myself and my children. It’s just not enough.”
The authorities arrive empty handed, and Sofia sags. She is eight months pregnant. She wishes she were somewhere else. But this is her new reality.
Five cooked mangoes rest in the two pots she keeps in the tent she shares with another family. That will be their lunch today. “For dinner we have a bit of maize left,” she says.
Patting her belly, as if caressing her unborn baby, Sofia knows that she doesn't have just herself to think about. “If I don’t eat, my baby doesn’t either. But I need to think of the other children as well.”
Sofia, like many others, lost everything after torrential rains burst over the riverbanks and flooded her surroundings. Caught by surprise, she did not have time to save any of her family’s possessions.
“We managed to climb the tree and stayed there for a whole day. We saw our house collapsing. I was praying that I could get out of there alive. We could hear people screaming for help all around us,” Sofia recalls.
Sofia and her family were rescued by a canoe and taken to a temporary shelter where they stayed for a week before being moved to the resettlement area.
Prior to the floods, Sofia had relied on subsistence farming; growing rice, corn and cassava. But the crops were washed away, jeopardising the future of her and her unborn child.
Her husband lives and works thousands of kilometres away and she has not heard from him for weeks now. “We miss him," Sofia whispers
Food is rapidly becoming the most urgent need among the thousands of people in transition camps and resettlement areas in Mozambique. Food supplies need to be urgently addressed to avoid the risk of aggravating an already precarious situation.
“People may feel tempted to leave the safety of the transition camps and resettlement areas in search of food, in the flooded areas they've fled. This is where they had their crop fields - which are now under water,” said World Vision relief staff, Israel Muba. “And yet,” he points out, “we have not even reached the peak of the rainy season.”
This month World Vision UK is sharing stories of hunger and nutrition around the world, and asking people to lend their voice to action/2015 to ensure that no child is going to bed hungry by 2030. Over the last 15 years we have seen huge improvements in access to education and healthcare and improved health for children and new mothers. Much of this has been spearheaded and supported by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), giving world leaders a framework for improving the lives of people around the globe.
Get involved and add your voice to Action/2015 this year. You can join the movement here.