9 February 2018

Namibia: Zambezi Farmers Re-Cultivate Fields

Silumbi — Communal Farmers in the Zambezi region have started to re-plough following good rains since the beginning of this month. When New Era visited the areas of Silumbi and Sikanjabuka in the Katima Mulilo constituency yesterday, communal farmers could be seen busy ploughing and re-planting where they had previously planted.

Speaking to New Era, the farmers stressed they had no choice but to re-plough and plant again because the seeds did not germinate, and where germination occurred they did not grow as they were scorched by the sun.

"I didn't want to re-plough but others encouraged me to do so, with the hope that maybe we might get something. I have to admit that this is strange because this is not the time we usually plough, by this time we were supposed to be weeding and by next month we could even start eating maize cobs," said one of the communal farmers Regina Mujiwa.

She added that like many farmers, she planted her maize in December following the first rains, but her seeds did not germinate, while in some areas they scarcely germinated. "As you can see I am busy re-planting where I planted already, I am not sure if I will harvest anything because very soon the flood might come and destroy everything."

Other communal farmers who were also busy ploughing in the area of Sikanjabuka shared the same sentiments. "We heard that the rain is here to stay, so we didn't want to be left behind that's why we have also started to plough again, hopefully we will harvest something," said Richard Mulike.

The return of the rains however has come at a cost as it has left informal settlements in Katima Mulilo like Choto and Cowboy flooded, while the hostel for girls at Caprivi Senior Secondary School was also left under water.

Other areas in the Kabbe South constituency like Nankutwe, Nsundwa, Itomba, Ivilivinzi, Mbalansite and Kasika are also not accessible at the moment due to heavy rains. While Mpukano and Muzii have already been cut-off by floodwater. The Zambezi River yesterday stood at 2.57 metres compared to the same date last year where it stood at 2.18 metres.

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