15 Mar 2022

Reactivation of the EAP for Floods in northern Mozambique: Tropical Storm Gombe causes the Licungo River to flood for a second time

Tropical Storm Ana caused severe flooding along the Licungo River, reaching a level that triggered Mozambique’s Early Action Protocol (EAP) for Floods on 25 January 2022. The EAP was triggered a second time on 14 March due to flooding caused by Tropical Storm Gombe.

Tropical Storm Gombe formed on the east coast of Madagascar, entering the Mozambique Channel on 10 March. It made landfall in Mossuril, Nampula Province, at 3:00am on 11 March, bringing heavy rains. This led to water levels in the Licungo River rising; they exceeded the trigger level set out in the EAP for Floods on 14 March.

In anticipation of the flooding, staff and volunteers from the Mozambique Red Cross Society began conducting early actions to support an estimated 1,500 households (around 7,500 people) in the Licungo basin that were expected to be worst affected. These early actions included:

  • distribution of early warning messages on flood water levels to at-risk communities
  • distribution of emergency supplies such as mosquito nets, mugs, buckets and water purification tablets.

Forecast-based financing (FbF) establishes mechanisms to automatically allocate funding for early actions once forecasts indicate a high probability of an extreme weather event. The goal is to anticipate disasters in order to prevent and/or reduce their humanitarian impacts. A key element of FbF is that the allocation of financial resources is agreed in advance, along with the specific forecast threshold that will trigger the release of those resources for the implementation of pre-defined early actions. The roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in implementing these actions are defined in an EAP.

The EAP for Floods in Mozambique was finalized in 2020 as part of a FbF project implemented by the Mozambique Red Cross Society, with support from the German Red Cross, the IFRC, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and local authorities (such as the National Disaster Management Authority and hydro-meteorological services), and funding from the German Federal Foreign Office. It establishes forecast-based triggers for four river basins in Mozambique, based on critical water levels for flood magnitudes with a 1-in-5-year return period. This project also developed an EAP for Cyclones, which was the first to be activated in Africa.