Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Floods threaten crops across Southern Africa

Floods threaten crops across Southern Africa

Feb 7, 2011 3:01 PM | By Sapa

Floods and heavy rain across southern Africa have damaged thousands of
hectares (acres) of farmland and more may be hit in coming weeks, raising
fears for food supplies, the UN food agency said Monday.

With the rainy season still only half way through, and with the cyclone
season due to peak in February, agricultural areas along the region’s rivers
in remain at high risk of flooding, the Food and Africulture Organisation

Most countries in the region, including Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, are affected, it said, quoting
quoted Cindy Holleman, FAO regional emergency coordinator.

“Food insecurity levels are already critical in the affected areas of some
of these countries and floods will only further worsen the ability of poor
farmers to cope and feed their families in the coming months,” Holleman

The FAO is working with regional and national early warning systems to
monitor the evolution in major river basins and to assess the impact on food
crops, the statement added.

The agency is also providing governments with technical advice on flood
monitoring systems, preparedness, and measures to prevent the outbreak or
spread of animal disease, while preparing to provide aid such as seeds, and
restoring agricultural activities after flood waters recede.

In Lesotho, one of the poorest countries in the sub-region, up to 60 percent
of harvests have been lost in some areas and more than 4,700 head of
livestock, mainly sheep and goats, are dead, the FAO reported.

Localized crop losses are also reported along river banks in southern and
central Mozambique. The government has declared a red alert for central and
southern Mozambique as water flows in the major rivers are above alert

South Africa has already declared a national state of disaster in many
districts of the country due to the floods that have destroyed thousands of
hectares of crop land, and caused damages estimated in millions of dollars.


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