Impacts of the 1997-98 El Niño Event in Mozambique

João-Paulo Coelho and Gary Littlejohn (2000). Impacts of the 1997-98 El Niño Event in Mozambique. Reducing the Impact of Environmental Emergencies through Early Warning and Preparedness in the Case of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). United Nations University.

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  • Sub-type Technical report
    Author João-Paulo Coelho
    Gary Littlejohn
    Title Impacts of the 1997-98 El Niño Event in Mozambique
    Series Title Reducing the Impact of Environmental Emergencies through Early Warning and Preparedness in the Case of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
    Publication Date 2000-05-26
    Place of Publication Maputo
    Publisher United Nations University
    Pages 120
    Language eng
    Abstract The 1997-1998 was noted in a special SNAPSA bulletin in March 1997, but the first serious Mozambican report on it took place in July 1997, and was the result of papers sent from the Drought Monitoring Center and the FAO Regional Headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe. This led to a series of meetings, most notably a SARCOF meeting in Kodoma on September 8th, a MICOA/INAM/IRI meeting on September 15th and 16th and a full national planning meeting from October 1st to 5th, hosted by MAP. This presented the first draft of a Multisectoral Action Plan to deal with El Niño, the first such an initiative undertaken by the Mozambican government. The UN agencies, especially the FAO and the WFP, were involved in the development of this plan, and the major donors USAID and the EU was also active from August. The revised Multisectoral Action Plan was considered by a wider group of donors early in December, and changes were required before they would support an international appeal for aid by the Government of Mozambique. This was a little unfortunate since some of the aspects that were objected to be in fact quite sensible, although other criticisms were perfectly valid. The criticism that was most misplaced was of the plan to clear the irrigation and drainage canals of the Limpopo irrigation complex near Chokwe. This had already been suggested by FAO in 1993 and enthusiastically supported by the leadership of ONUMOZ, but had not been taken up. This is a measure that is equally sensible for drought or flood, and its implementation would undoubtedly have saved lives in the Limpopo floods of 2000. The response to the 1997-1998 El Niño was in general a very positive experience, as the MICOA/INAM follow up meeting concluded in February 1998. However, the rains continued at normal or above normal levels, even including some flooding. This had an unfortunate impact in terms of credibility of seasonal forecasting and the integration of such information into the national decision-making process. This negative effect was partly overcome by the subsequent forecast on the effects of La Niña, but it meant that it was only really in late 1999/early 2000 that the government reacted seriously to flood warnings. INAM continues to suffer from lack of equipment that would enable it to give forecasts in sufficient detail to warn government of incoming extreme weather events.
    UNBIS Thesaurus METEOROLOGY
    CLIMATE
    WATER RESOURCES
    NATURAL DISASTERS
    MOZAMBIQUE
    EL NINO CURRENT
    Copyright Holder United Nations University
    Copyright Year 2000
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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