Flooding caused by heavy rains since early January have destroyed nearly 180 square km of crops in central Mozambique.
The National Food Security Early Warning System told IRIN on Wednesday that it had sent an assessment team to the area near the coastal city of Beira which was expected to report on the full extent of the damage next week. Meanwhile, the government said seed would have to be distributed to farmers to enable them to sow new crops.
In January, the Buzi, Punge and Metchuria rivers had burst their banks, the early warning office said. The situation grew worse this month when the floodgates of the Chicamba dam, situated on the Buzi’s main tributary had to be opened.
Travel between the Metuchira farming district and the town of Nhamatanda, about 100 km west of Beira was difficult because a key bridge across the Metchuria had become impassable. Another affected travel route is the road that links Beira and Caia, 300 km to the north.
Further south, in the Manhica district’s Incimati valley, flooding has hit about 25 square km of crops, while in Gaza Province about 30 square km of farm lands were flooded, according to the early warning office.
The district of Lugela which is in the central Zambezia Province has been cut off from surrounding districts after the bridge over Lugela collapsed on the 3 February.
Apart from the damage to crops, torrential rain has also halted the production at the country’s largest textile factory, Texlom, near the capital Maputo.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions