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80 dead in Mozambique flooding: The Church of England Newspaper, February 24, 2013 p 6. March 23, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean, Disaster Relief.
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Church leaders in the Indian Ocean and Southern Africa have launched appeals for aid following flooding across the region.

On 1 Feb 2013 Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean asked for support for the Diocese of the Seychelles after the island was hit by Tropical Cyclone Felleng. The “country and the diocese have suffered heavy losses from the floods,” as “church buildings and other important structures have been destroyed. However we give thanks to the Lord as there has been no loss of life.”

Bishop Brighton Malasa of the Diocese of Upper Shire in Malawi reported his country had been hard hit by floods. He estimated that 33,000 people had been dislocated by flood waters in his diocese.  “We would appreciate humanitarian support such as soap, clothes, cereals, sugar, blankets and tents,” he said.

While floods are common in the early part of the year in southern Malawi, the “oldest people in our communities are saying they have not seen such rains in the past 50 years,” the bishop said.

In the Diocese of Lebombo in southern Mozambique approximately 70,000 people have been displaced by flood waters, Bishop Dinis Sengulane said. “The situation is dramatic and it calls for our response if we are to avoid more damages to the lives of people”.

The flooding had destroyed crops and left “stagnant waters [that] will become favorable places for the proliferation of mosquitoes that bring malaria,” the bishop wrote to supporters in the West in an appeal for “mosquito nets to prevent malaria” as well as “seeds and school materials for children.”

On 31 Jan 2013 the United Nations reported severe flooding in southern Mozambique has affected a quarter of a million people, while heavy rains buffeted the north of the country as Tropical Cyclone Felleng made landfall after passing over Madagascar.

The floods have killed at least 48 people in the south of Mozambique, the UN reported while government officials put the death toll at 80.

Indian Ocean Synod reelects Ian Ernest as Archbishop: The Church of England Newspaper, September 2, 2012 p 6. August 31, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean.
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The General Synod of the Province of the Indian Ocean has re-elected the Bishop of Mauritius Ian Ernest to a second five-year term and archbishop and primate of the eight diocese province covering Madagascar, the Seychelles and Mauritius.

Meeting last week in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar the bishops and synod discussed the political and economic situation in Madagascar, which since independence from France in 1960 has suffered repeated changes of government.  A Fourth Republic was established in 2010 after the adoption by referendum of a new constitution.  In 2009 President Marc Ravalomanana was removed by a coup led opposition leader and then-mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina.  In March 2009, Rajoelina was declared by the Supreme Court as the President of the High Transitional Authority, an interim governing body responsible for moving the country toward presidential elections.  Elections have been set for next year.

In an interview with Week-End magazine, Archbishop Ernest said the synod hoped the Anglican Church could act as a mediating agent between the rival political groups in Madagascar and help bring an end to political instability that had dried up the tourist trade and hampered economic growth.  The Synod welcomed the government’s pledge to hold elections next year, and asked that they be free and fair and respectful of the dignity of the people (“respectueux du peuple malgache”). They also called upon the government to support the right to information and freedom of expression (droit à l’information et à la liberté d’expression).

In other business synod heard reports on diocesan projects, including the foundation of an Anglicare Mauritius to oversee church social service work on the island.  The church agency’s first project is a home for un-wed mothers built in conjunction with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Port-Louis.

Archbishop Ernest told Week-End the Anglican Church sought to be a full partner in the social, spiritual and economic development of Mauritius.  “We are all called to work together to honor the sacrifice made by the ancestors of all Mauritians to make this country a land of milk and honey,” said the archbishop.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.