Over 1600 hectares of various crops were damaged by floods in Katete District of Eastern Province when the Kapoche River burst its banks due to heavy rains at the beginning of this year.

ZANIS reports that the count of the damage done by the district agriculture coordination office indicate that  floods washed away a total of 1,665 hectares of various crops, leaving 560 households with no  crop to harvest for food or income.

Katete District Agriculture Coordinator (DACO) James Ngalamila said 1,665 hectares of field of different crops that were washed away were planted along the river banks.

“The affected fields included 840 hectares of maize, 350 hectares of Soya-beans, 420 hectares of groundnuts and 55 hectares of sunflower,” he said.

560 households were affected by the disaster and currently, these families face the risk of food insecurity, he added.

Areas most affected by the disaster as Chindwale, Kapoche and Kapandulula wards of the district, as the river flows its waters along these wards.

Meanwhile, Chindwale Ward Councilor Odrick Banda appealed to relevant authorities to come to the aid of the people in his ward as they are in dire need of relief food.

Mr Banda alluded that people were on a daily basis flocking to his house wanting to find out if any solution has been found to the situation they have found themselves in.

“In my ward I have 98 people that have been affected by the floods that washed away their crops. Most of these people are currently surviving on piece works to put food on their table, but with this Coronavirus disease, these piece works are not easy to come by,” he said.

Mr Banda said he has been assisting some families to make ends meet, but the number of affected people in his ward was too much for him to assist everyone.

And in response to the appeal, Katete District Commissioner (DC) Joseph Makukula assured the affected families that government remained committed to addressing the needs of its people.

Mr Makukula disclosed the district is expecting a delivery of more than 8000 by 12.5 Kilograms of mealie meal as relief food to feed the affected households.

“We have already started receiving trucks of relief food and so far two trucks have come in, we are waiting for maybe two to three trucks. The relief food, other than mealie meal, part of it is beans,” he said.

The relief mealie meal is not only for the people who were affected along the Kapoche River but for every person who was affected by different calamities in the district.

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