Due to early floods experienced in the Zambezi River basin, some schools in Kabbe South have been cut off – leaving many learners stranded.
Heavy rains that continue to pour in the Zambezi region have resulted in early floods, which have hampered access to schools. The level of the Zambezi river, which has burst its banks, currently stands at 3.55 metres as of Tuesday, compared to 1.7m the same period last year. Kabbe is frequently affected by flooding as it is in low-lying land, only two to five metres above sea level.
The affected schools are Nankuntwe Junior Secondary, Ikaba Junior Secondary, Muzii Junior Secondary and Mpukano Primary School.
Other services that have been affected by roads being cut off include a clinic at Itomba, operated by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
The clinic serves a lot of people, as it is the only medical facility in the area. Many people have to walk long distances to be treated there.
In an interview with New Era yesterday, Zambezi regional governor Lawrence Sampofu said although the schools are cut off by road, teaching and learning were not yet completely interrupted.
“These schools are not reachable by road. The teachers are staying at the schools. The learners from nearby villages are using dugout canoes as a means of transport to school. I am appealing to parents to escort their children to and from school because the water is so strong,” he urged.
Sampofu said that once the Zambezi River reaches a level of 6m then they will have no choice but to relocate schools to higher grounds.
Dugout canoes are frequently used in the region as a means of transport, however, those on board are exposed to various dangers, as the canoe can be attacked by hippos which can cause death. Sampofu also appealed to livestock farmers in the flood-prone areas to relocate their animals to higher grounds, as the water continues to rise.
But he said residents who live in these areas are not willing to move to higher grounds, as they don’t want to leave their homes.
He also reported that due to heavy rains over the weekend, Katima Mulilo experienced flash floods that damaged many houses.
“There are people affected by these flash floods. There was heavy rainfall. The residents’ houses were flooded but since it did not rain yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday), the water subsided. Residents of Katima are not under threat,” he said.
However, he said the Zambezi Regional Council stands ready for any eventualities, in terms of tents and other logistics needed for relocation purposes.
Regarding the outbreak of armyworm and migratory locust, Sampofu said the teams from the ministry of agriculture are hard at work spraying to contain the insects from spreading. He said some farmers have already harvested crops, while others are busy.