KATIMA MULILO – For several days last week, heavy rainfall drenched the Zambezi Region for the first time, it has received good rains since the beginning of the rainy season. The Meteorological Services of Namibia said 48.8 millimetres was recorded at Mpacha Airport alone on Thursday.
Rainfall has been sporadic in the region in the past months and this had left farmers in the region hopeless as they were afraid of another dry spell and a crippling drought. As a result, some farmers did not plough their fields as they were still waiting for rain.
However, heavy rainfall was reported for several days in most parts of the region last week.
Speaking to New Era, the Chairperson of Likwama Farmer’s Union, Alfred Chilinda stated the rain has come too late and farmers in the region can no longer plant maize, which is the region’s staple food and advised them to consider planting mahangu.
“This is an issue of climate change, however I would like to advice farmers who have ploughed that they must be hopeful that they might have a good harvest. However, I would like to advise if there are those who still want to plough to consider planting mahangu, because the time to plant maize has already passed,” said Chilinda.
Chilinda also told New Era he is one of those farmers who did not plough their fields as they were still waiting for the rain. He further stated that some of the farmers who ploughed early, their maize was scorched by the sun, and those who planted late might harvest if it continues to rain.
Even though the rain may have come as a relief to some, to others may have been a nightmare, particularly in the town of Katima Mulilo where walls of some mud houses in Choto and Cowboy settlements were brought down by the rain. While the already dilapidated roads within the town were left in a sorry state.
Some areas in the Kabbe South Constituency such as Muzii, Itomba, Nsundwa and Mpukano are not easily accessible at the moment due to heavy rains, which has flooded the roads.
Meanwhile, the Zambezi River has been rising slowly and yesterday, the water levels stood at 1.63 metre compared to 4.09 m on the same date last year.
There are high hopes that the Zambezi Region might not receive heavy floods this year, as it appears at the current rise, the Zambezi River might not reach its alarming levels. This may come as a relief to cattle farmers whose cattle are in the flood prone areas where it is ever green, and when there is flood, they are always forced to move them to higher ground where there is not enough grass. However, if there will be less flood this year, their cattle might survive the anticipated drought.
2019-02-19 09:20:12 3 months ago