Mozambique: Limpopo Flood Reaches Chokwe

MAPUTO, Mozambique (PANA) - The flood on the Limpopo river in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza has now reached Chokwe district, home to the country's largest irrigation scheme, according to a report on Radio Mozambique Monday.
The radio said the river had reached a height of six metres at Chokwe, twice its normal level. There is no information yet on any damage to crops or housing in the Chokwe area.

Further upstream, the flooding has cut off several villages and localities from the rest of the country.

In Mabalane district, a bridge is under water isolating 12 villages in Pawene locality. This is likely to delay the opening of the school year in Pawene.

Mabalane town has been deprived of its water supply. The Limpopo flood waters have submerged the wells on which it normally depends.

According to Monday's issue of the Maputo daily, Noticias, the town is now dependent on containers of water brought in by rail.

Mabalane district health director, Vitoria Guiboane, said that the flooding has doubled the number of cases of malaria and diarrhoeal diseases seen at the town's health post.

Usually the health post deals with about 30 cases of diarrhoeal diseases a week: but over the past week the figure rose to 70.

It is estimated that about 23,000 people in the Limpopo Valley could be at risk. Nonetheless, the deputy national director of the Disaster Management Institute, Gumercindo Langa, told Noticias that the situation was not alarming, because flood warnings had been given in due time.

People had taken heed of the warnings, he said, and had moved to safer ground.

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