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MARCH 6, 2015

Witnesses Provide Air and Ground Relief After Destructive Floods in Mozambique

MAPUTO, Mozambique—Weeks of unusually heavy rains from December through mid-January in the Zambezia province of Mozambique led to devastating floods that killed 158 people. The branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Mozambique reports that no Witnesses have been killed or injured. However, the floodwaters damaged two places of worship, called Kingdom Halls, and destroyed 225 homes of Witnesses.

Witness volunteers prepare to airlift food supplies to the isolated Chire district of Zambezia.

The Witnesses established several disaster relief committees to care for the needs of their members in the affected area. Some Kingdom Halls were also used as temporary shelters and food distribution centers. In Chire, which is located approximately 950 miles (1,500 km) from Maputo, floodwaters destroyed the bridges that gave access to the area, isolating more than 1,300 Witnesses. The Institute for Civil Aviation of Mozambique granted the Witnesses permission to airdrop over 17 tons of relief supplies into the region via helicopter.

In Morrumbala, bags of corn and corn seed being loaded for distribution

A spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Mozambique, Alberto Libombo, states: “It has been wonderful to see the generosity of our members in helping with our local relief efforts. The branch office in Mozambique is continuing to organize the delivery of basic foodstuffs and is arranging to rebuild and repair homes. We will continue to do all we can to keep providing spiritual comfort and assistance to the victims.”

Kingdom Hall in Chiromo used as a temporary distribution center

Media Contact(s):

International: J. R. Brown, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5000

Mozambique: Alberto Libombo, tel. +258 21 450 500