KATIMA MULILO – Some crop farmers in Kabbe South constituency in the Zambezi region have been hit hard after their fields were submerged by seasonal floods in the past few days. Those whose fields have been submerged are from the villages of Kakangala, Jojo, Bulila, Muzii and Nantungu.
There is also little hope for the farmers from the villages of Liyeke, Limai, Ikosa and Ikaba, as the water has already entered the Kasaya channel which leads to these villages.
In an interview, the councillor of the flood-prone constituency John Likando confirmed that the water levels of the Zambezi river have been rising in the past week, and as a result some crop fields are already under water.
“There is no hope of a bumper harvest as the water came very early before the crops were ready. We are still trying to evaluate the damage, for a way forward,” said Likando.
His sentiments were shared by former Kabbe councillor Raphael Mbala, who stated that people delayed to plough as they thought the floods would not come early.
“We only started ploughing in October, and we were hoping to harvest by mid-February. However the floods came early and all our fields were submerged, it is a big loss,” said Mbala.
However, according to Likando the water has not yet reached alarming levels for people to start moving to higher ground.
“Our people are very reluctant to move. You cannot tell them to move their livestock to higher ground, they are still waiting for the resources which come with the flood, so that when they start moving, they have something to carry,” elaborated Likando.
The constituency councillor also stated that the livestock are in good shape, as there is plenty of grass which came about due to excessive rainfall.
He said this is another reason why farmers do not want to move their livestock early, as they usually lose weight when they are at the upper lands due to insufficient grass.
He, however, pointed out that this year the situation is promising as there is also enough grass at the upper lands, as the rain poured all over the region.
The water levels in the Zambezi river stood at 1.85 metres on Wednesday, while on Tuesday it stood at 1.80m. Residents of Kabbe South and Kabbe North constituencies are normally forced to relocate to higher ground when the water levels approach six metres.