AfricaWorks is focused on economic empowerment through developing Small, Medium, Large and Mega Businesses thereby creating sustainable jobs.
AfricaWorks is doing this through financing (loans), investments, business development services, partnerships and other opportunities.
Triple bottom line approach: economic, spiritual and social transformation.
On Wednesday the 23rd of January 2013 a flood hit the Gaza Province, in the southern part of Mozambique. The flood was the result of more than a week of torrential rains in South Africa and Zimbabwe which caused the Limpopo River to overflow. The flood has been reported as one of the worst to hit Mozambique economically in recent history, destroying much of the rice, corn and vegetable crops that were close to being harvested. While early warning systems kept fatalities to 41, over 140,000 people have been displaced, many with homes, fields, and businesses destroyed. The worst hit districts are where AfricaWorks (Partners Worldwide’s strategic partner in Southern Africa) provides micro credit and agribusiness support. The extent of losses are still being evaluated, as major roads have been washed away and it is still difficult to reach the flooded areas. International relief agencies have confirmed that businesses, banks, and electrical supply have been interrupted.
AfricaWorks staff have confirmed that their office in this region is still intact because of its location on the second floor, although motorbikes stored in the garage were submerged. Staff were authorized to use the office as a safe house and two families have found refuge there. All 966 members of the Farmer’s Co-op working with AfricaWorks’agribusiness program have been affected, with 445 hectares of planted fields destroyed. The flood hit the area just before harvesting season, thus wiping away all their investment, income and food security. It also appears that all 1,000 AfricaWorks’ micro credit clients in this area lost their businesses due to the disaster.
While the government and disaster relief organizations are working hard at relocating people, providing temporary shelter, food and medical relief, we need to start preparing now to help rebuild the lives of those who have lost everything in the flood. After this terrible disaster, we want to find ways to walk alongside theAfricaWorks’ clients, as they return to their homes to count the cost the flood had on their livelihoods.
Samuel Grottis, President of AfricaWorks, has witnessed other floods in Mozambique and is confident that the hand of God will be seen in the midst of this recovery. “This is God’s work and He knows what He is doing, that I believe”. Successful strategies implemented in prior recovery efforts are being put into place, and similar rates of recovery towards self-sufficiency are expected.
As a response, AfricaWorks has launched a Restore & Rebuild initiative and appeal for the agribusiness and micro-credit clients in the hardest hit areas in the Gaza province.
The goal is to build a fund that will help the small businesses get back on their feet—in ways that rebuild livelihoods while restoring hope and maintaining dignity. Early indicators estimate losses at almost $1,000,000 (US). The immediate goal is to raise $300,000 to fund loans (average $300 per client) providing “restart capital” for the flood affected micro-enterprises for inventory and supplies that will allow them to re-open and generate income. Payment terms for loans that were in place before the flood will also be extended, providing those affected a chance to rebuild their businesses. An additional $20,000 is also needed during this recovery phase to complete assessments, provide client support services, and to replace the damaged motorcycles that will help the staff better serve their clients.
The full assessment and response for the 966 agricultural clients is still in process, due to difficulty in reaching all of the farmers. Not only is it very difficult to get to the farmland because of damaged roads, many farmers haven’t yet returned to their land after being displaced. Certainly, farmers will be eager to return to their land and plant crops quickly and will need seeds, tools and equipment.
We will keep you up to date on the specifics of the agricultural response as it emerges.
A top priority for the Restore and Rebuild initiative is partnering with other relief and development agencies who are also responding in the region. For now, we ask that you keep these communities in Mozambique in your prayers and that you consider contributing to the AfricaWorks Restore and Rebuild Fund to help us walk alongside those seeking to rebuild their businesses after the floods.
To give, please click here and select “Support a Partnership” and then choose AfricaWorks Mozambique.
Questions and comments can be made via the contact page.