Zambia: Farms and Roads Hit by Floods

Heavy rains during the second week of February 2014 have washed away portions of Mtenguleni-Madzimawe Road in Chipata District in the Eastern province of Zambia, near the border with Mozambique. The road was undergoing rehabilitation at the time as part of its periodic maintenance plan, but delays in approval of variations in the tender had created “challenges” according to the contractor.

Build Trust Construction Limited director Akabondo Munalula said he had sent a request to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, via the Chipata Municipal Council, to include the provision of drainage structures and construction of embankments on lower areas in order to prevent the road from being washed away. The additional funding required had not yet been authorised when the rains struck.

Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni said that “These heavy rains which have been experienced for four days have left some portions of the road washed away. The contractor may have to go back to square one”. He appealed to the government to speed up approval of the variations mentioned by the contractor.

A flooded road in Zambia in 2010. Photo: Sustainable Sanitation
A flooded road in Zambia in 2010. Photo: Sustainable Sanitation

Meanwhile the Zambian National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) reports that continuous downpours in the Kazungula District in the southwest of the country have caused flooding in parts of the district, with Ngwezi area the worst hit. Maize fields have been affected, but the ZNFU district office and the District Agricultural Co-ordinator have yet to send out representatives to determine the extent of the damage.

The Mwekera River in the Kamfinsa farming area of the Kitwe district in north-central Zambia has flooded, cutting off families living on one side of the river from schools and other facilities.

In Luano district, in east-central Zambia, the Lunsemfwa and Mkushi rivers have aso burst their banks, cutting people off from the outside world. Luano District Commissioner Luke Mwamba confirmed on Monday that the rivers flooded following heavy downpours experienced last week. He noted that lack of drainage had led to roads becoming impassable.

“The roads in the valley are impassable and we have no drainages, so whenever we experience heavy downpours the area floods,” Mr Mwamba said.

Zambia has already suffered from severe flooding this year. Around 20,000 were left homeless in Mazabuka in Zambia’s Southern Province.

Sources: Times of Zambia; All Africa; Zambia National Famers Union