By Reagan Malumo
Preparations for the evacuation of people living in the flood-prone areas of the Caprivi Region have started with thousands of farmers relocating their livestock to dry land.
Herds of cattle have been relocated to Lusese and Kabbe. According to the senior area headman of Lusese, Fidelis Sikopo, there is so much flooding in the eastern areas of Caprivi, igniting fears that both human lives and livestock could be lost.
He confirmed that so far, roads leading to areas such as Schuckmansburg, Nankuntwe, Ikaba, Muzii and Itomba are all impassable because of floods and these areas can only be reached with dugout canoes.
New Era has also learnt that people residing in areas such as Schuckmansbarg, Nankuntwe, and Muzii have to travel via Zambia when they want to go shopping at the provincial town of Katima Mulilo because local roads are unsafe.
Sikopo said the Masubia Tribal Chief, Kisco Moraliswani, whose jurisdiction covers the entire eastern part of Kabbe Constituency, has been flown by helicopter over these areas to assess the situation and alert the inhabitants to start moving to higher ground.
Sikopo confirmed that he is holding meetings with the people of Lusese to ready them to receive flood victims who are relocated to his area on an annual basis. He urged all those affected to start moving to higher ground. He said his people were ready to host those affected.
Meanwhile, the Chobe and Linyanti rivers have burst their banks flooding nearby fields. So far, some crop fields and a few villages at Sangwali and Muyako are surrounded by floodwater.
Linyanti Constituency chief clerk, Albertinah Musukubili, confirmed receiving complaints of damage to crops.
Her office is awaiting books from the regional council to start registering those affected.
She said although most people cultivated their fields and were looking forward to a bumper harvests this year, it is doubtful that this would be the case because many fields have been submerged.
“I do not know how I will survive this year, because my field has already been destroyed. As you can see, I am not working and I am taking care of a lot of orphans and I don’t know what they will eat this year,” moaned Agtor Salufu Mwaka, whose crops have been destroyed by floods at Sangwali, about 150 kilometres west of Katima Mulilo.
She also confirmed that crocodiles have been lurking around making it difficult for her to inspect her crops.
“Yesterday, it caught my children’s clothes thinking it was a person but we were lucky that we were far away,” she said.
Hundreds of farmers who cultivate along the fertile Lake Liambezi at Muyako are also in trouble as combined floods and heavy rains have submerged fields and destroyed crops. According to a resident of Muyako, Mike Sambi, the lake is full and crops are under water.
He said most farmers have started to prematurely harvest their maize crops for fear of a total loss.