30 January 2013

Mozambique: Over 13,000 Hectares Lost in Sofala

Maputo — Torrential rains and flooding have led to the loss of 13,208 hectares of crops in the central Mozambican province of Sofala, out of the 524,716 hectares sown, according to provincial governor Felix Paulo.

Reporting to members of the Social Affairs Commission of the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, currently visiting Sofala, Paulo said that 12,000 Sofala peasant farmers had lost crops, and would need seeds for the second sowings.

Paulo also said that education in Sofala has been affected, with 3,138 pupils unable to attend school because their classrooms have been flooded or destroyed.

According to a report in Wednesday’s issue of the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”, the head of the Social Affairs Commission, Conceita Sortane, praised the efforts of the provincial government to mitigate the effects of the floods, but expressed concern at the loss of food crops, the destruction of classrooms, and the fact that the local authorities provided no information on measures to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.

Paulo’s report had also not said where the authorities would obtain the seeds needed to support the farmers, or given any data on livestock losses.

Although it was impossible to describe the situation in Sofala as satisfactory, said Sortane, there had been great advances in the province, particularly due to the government’s work in previous years in persuading people to move away from flood prone areas, and resettle on higher ground.

In comparison with previous years, “the number of people affected has fallen substantially”, she said. “But in agriculture, I felt that the situation is worrying because crops have been lost in almost all the districts”.

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