Maputo, Mozambique (PANA) (Panafrican
News Agency, February 21, 2000) - Officials in Gaza province, southern
Mozambique, have reported to President Joaquim Chissano that 70,000 hectares
of crops and pasture had been lost to floods by the weekend.
Radio Mozambique reported that the president visited the flood zones Saturday.
Chissano flew in an aircraft over the Limpopo Valley and observed the continuing work to strengthening the defensive dike in the Gaza provincial capital, Xai-Xai.
According to the radio report, severe damage has been done to irrigated agriculture at Chokwe, on the middle reaches of the Limpopo.
Of the 10,000 hectares of the Chokwe irrigation scheme that were recently rehabilitated, 7,000 have been destroyed by the floods.
Chissano told reporters, however, that harvest in the Limpopo Valley in the year is not necessarily a write-off - everything would depend on an efficient supply of seeds to farmers for second sowings.
He also believed that many of the cattle that peasants have been forced to abandon would survive the floods and be recovered by their owners.
Meanwhile, the threat of further torrential rain from cyclone Eline in the Mozambique Channel has not yet materialised.
The National Meteorology Institute said Sunday the cyclone, now downgraded to a "tropical depression", had so far not hit the Mozambican coast.
But Eline was expected to be felt later in the central province of Sofala, and possibly in the neighbouring provinces of Zambezia and Inhambane.
Severe flooding has also caused enormous damage of property and a number of deaths in Botswana and South Africa.
Copyright 1900 Panafrican News Agency. Distributed via Africa News Online.
Copyright (c) 2000 Comtex Scientific
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 02/21/2000 20:06:30
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