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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: January 26 2008 »

Dear Mr. Kuthan,
 
            Seasonal greetings to you and the family. Thanks for your mail and i wish for  the best in 2008, hoping to achieve a lot this year.

As you must have heard, we have too much rains such that a lot of people have lost their homes due to floods and the ground has been saturated with water such that homes are just collapsing. A lot of people are homeless now. Sinazongwe and Gwembe Districts are the most hit in Southern Province. We have more rain than required, so far four major bridges on the Batoka ---Maamba road had been washed away although Government quickly  replaced them. Government has decleared Southern Province as a disaster area.

I was last was in Sinazongwe on 3rd jan. 2008  but my son keeps on telling the rains are bombarding the area everyday . I will go to Sinazongwe the other week and i hope to meet Hon Chief Sinazongwe and the people over our projects .

Greetings and best wishes for now.
 
Saviour Miyanda.
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #1 on: January 29 2008 »

Dear Mr Miyanda.

Compliments of the season to you. Thank you for the timely update on the
Sinazongwe situation. It is sad to learn that people are homeless due to
excessive rainfall. We are also having too much rainfall. Our link road
to main towns has developed a lot of pot holes. The crops are stagnant
(not growing) and have turned yellow due to lack of photosynthesis
process. In Zimbabwe, it is another terrible year as far as the harvest
is concerned. Mr Miyanda, do you have any information on the state of the road
linking Namafulu and Maamba. We are planning to visit Sinazongwe in
February.

Best regards


Pottar

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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #2 on: February 14 2008 »

Dear Pottar,
   
Thanx for your mail.
Mwana, the situation is bad. We have  too much rain such that Zesco has been forced to open the Itezhitezhi dam on the Kafue river and Zambezi River Authority is opening the Kariba dam on 11th Feb. due too much water. Angola also is discharging alot of water and all that water is flowing into the Zambezi river.
The Batoka --Maamba road has had several bridges and culverts washed away since 30th of December, if  iam not mistaken about 6 incidences have so far occured. At moment, the bridge which is  a kilometre before Sinazeze was washed away with a gap of about 40 metres,
Namafulo road as at moment is impassable and  Gov't is working on the roads replacing washed away bridges  and relief food and tents have been given to areas that are hard hit.
There will be  hunger this year but all the same God will provide.
 
God bless you.
Miyanda.
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #3 on: March 13 2008 »

Climate change to aggravate Africa's food insecurity and poverty
By: HANA Reporter

-----------------------------------------------------------
Article summary:
African countries asked to address technological gaps in order to avert disaster.
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starts/

Calling for a new business approach to African agriculture, ECA?s Director of Food Security and Sustainable Development, Dr Josue Dione, said in Addis Ababa that climate change would aggravate the continent?s food insecurity and poverty.
In a paper presented at the recently concluded Science with Africa Conference, Dione said Africa would experience a 10 percent decrease in rainfall in Southern Africa and the Horn of Africa by 2050.
According to Dr Dione, Africa will also experience reduced water resources from major glaciers, major lakes and rivers, while up to 90 million hectares of agricultural land in arid and semi-arid areas would be lost.
Dr. Dione said higher temperature would reduce soil moisture storage capacity, quality and fertility while the length of growing seasons would be reduced by more than 20 percent in the Sahel by 2020.
Quoting studies, he said Africa would also experience reduced crop yields from rain-fed agriculture by up to 50 per cent in many countries and up to 31 percent reduced income from dryland agriculture. He called on African countries to address the gaps in technologies, infrastructure, institutions and policies in order to make African agriculture develop sustainably.
These gaps must be addressed, not only at the farm level, but throughout the value chains of strategic food and agricultural commodities, according to Dr Dione.
The African Union in December 2006 adopted some strategic commodities, including Rice, maize, legumes, cotton, oil palm, beef, dairy, poultry and fisheries at the continental level; cassava, sorghum and millet at the regional level.
The challenge, Dr. Dione said, is to build the NEPAD agricultural pillars around such strategic commodities in creating Regional Strategic Commodity Belts and for further research into the implications of climate change on crop, animal breeding, health, water resources management, soil fertility management and food crisis prevention strategies.
ENDS.

From ECA's Information and Communication Service.

<div align="center"><a href="http://hana.ru.ac.za/" target="_new"><img border="0" width="151" height="61" src="http://hana.ru.ac.za/genCredit.cfm?userID=800&articleID=1885" title="Story provided free by the Highway Africa News Agency"></a></div>

/ends
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #4 on: May 08 2008 »

Zambia: Counting the cost of recent floods

Inter Press Service (IPS), by Newton Sibanda - May 7, 2008.

Lusaka (Zambia) - Samson Mwenda, a farmer from Namwala in Zambia’s Southern Province, recalls with bitterness the massive floods of the 2007/2008 rainy season and the harsh consequences they had for his life.

A prominent farmer who owns more than 3,000 head of cattle, Mwenda found that the floodwaters jeopardised his livelihood by making it impossible for him to get his livestock to market. The floods cut off access roads to the railway line and left him isolated from the rest of the country. The local agent for Zambeef, one of largest agribusinesses in Zambia, also stopped buying cattle as the firm could not transport carcasses to market.

"As a farmer I depend on cattle for my livelihood, but I couldn’t take cattle to towns along the line of rail, where the price is better, because the road was cut off. Even the local abattoir stopped buying our animals because they could not deliver the carcasses to Lusaka (the capital)," said Mwenda. He is also concerned about the effect the floods have had on his children’s education. They were not able to attend school for several weeks and he fears that the long absence from the classroom will affect their academic performance. In all, some 9,000 children have had their education disrupted, according to official figures.

Mwenda is only one of many people in the Namwala district who are still counting the cost of the recent floods. George Shimalimbika worries that he may have to survive on relief food aid this year, as the floods washed away his maize crop. A retired soldier, Shimalimbika says he will also not be able to recover the cost of the seeds that have gone to waste. The recent floods were particularly severe in Namwala, a small farming community on the banks of the Kafue River. In the Southern Province, it rained for eleven straight days in December. By comparison, there were only three days of rainfall recorded countrywide for November 2007.

Recording stations usually register between 800 and 1,100 millimetres of rain during the entire rainy season, between November and May. However in December 2007, some stations recorded more rain in 10 days than they normally do in the whole season. The 2006/2007 rainy season was also severe; however, it was eclipsed by the more recent downpours. "This season, like the last season, rainfall was quite excessive; but this year’s was more excessive," said Maurice Muchinda, director of the meteorological department. "The floods have left a wide range of impacts. School attendance dropped drastically because schools were cut off. Drugs could not reach hospitals."

The Zambia Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZVAC) of the Disaster Management and Impact Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the office of the vice president published an assessment of the damage caused by the flooding. It surveyed 32 districts and found that 5,851 houses had collapsed; 1,693 households were displaced and infrastructure at 58 schools was severely damaged. "The most serious effect is that infrastructure like roads and bridges has been extensively damaged, making movement of people and agricultural produce difficult," said DMMU National Co-ordinator Domiciano Mulenga.

"People have been displaced and up to now a number of people are still in camps," he added, noting that food security had been seriously affected because of crops being washed away. The ZVAC report also reveals that 80 percent of districts assessed were left with poor quality drinking water. There was a noted increase in incidences of diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections. According to Mulenga, the flooding caused pit latrines to flood, thereby affecting water supply and sanitation.

He said that the gravity of the situation had been somewhat mitigated by a massive response from relief organisations that had provided personnel, food and other supplies. "The response has also involved airlifting supplies to districts cut off by the floods, and we are also partly involved in the rehabilitation process, as some communities have agreed to move to areas of resettlement," Mulenga said, noting that government and donors had spent about 10 million dollars in the response to the flood situation.

"So, we are working on basic infrastructure in new areas like sinking boreholes and we are also discussing with the ministries of education and health to build schools and clinics respectively."The full consequences of the floods still need to be determined, according to Mulenga; the results of an in-depth survey of damages are due in June.
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