The Mozambican government has approved a Special Plan for the Territorial Organization of the Zambezi Valley, says Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development Celso Correia.

He told the media after a meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) here Tuesday that the plan lays down a development strategy for the Zambezi Valley for the next 30 years, covering the central provinces of Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia.

Correia said the plan takes account of the suitability of Zambezi Valley soils for agriculture. It envisages the likely population growth in the region, and the energy generating potential of the Zambezi basin, as a foundation for sustainable development.

The Special Plan, he added, marks a turning point in the government’s strategy for integrated development, and confers on Mozambique an important instrument for planning, mobilization of resources, and designing a more harmonious development model which responds to the needs of the communities.

The Plan will now go before the Assembly of the Republic, Mozambique’s parliament, for debate and approval. It will then be implemented through a set of regulations which will lay down policies on access to land and to mineral resources.

The Council of Ministers also announced that the government is continuing to assist households affected by the torrential rains that struck parts of the country in January, by providing shelter to those whose homes were destroyed by the storms, and by distributing food aid.

So far in the 2016/2017 rainy season, 92,600 people have been affected by the storms, 44 of whom have died.