Red Cross pours aid into Mozambique

CHIMANIMANI, Zimbabwe (AP) — The Red Cross says it is sending emergency sanitation and water facilities to the hard-hit Mozambique port of Beira and is appealing for 10 million Swiss francs (dollars) to help 75,000 of the worst-affected people.

Jamie LeSueur, who heads operations in Mozambique for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said Thursday that the emergency sanitation and water units “will be crucial” in preventing the spread of waterborne disease.

Experts will arrive in Beira in the coming days, and sanitation facilities for up to 20,000 people and equipment to produce clean water for 15,000 people will arrive in the port city early next week, he said.

The IFRC and Mozambique Red Cross are also trying to address the massive needs for shelter.

Red Cross volunteers have already distributed emergency shelter kits — comprising tarpaulins and basic tools — to about 1,500 families and an additional consignment for 3,000 families is scheduled to arrive Friday, LeSueur said.