Three provinces record prolonged dry spell

By Masauso Mkwayaya

Three provinces have recorded prolonged dry spells in the country.

Most Districts in these provinces have not received rainfall in the last 21 days due to the prolonged dry spell caused by the El-Nino.

The three are Eastern, Southern and Central Provinces including some districts in Lusaka, Western and Copperbelt provinces.

And government has deployed experts in Agriculture, Weather and Disaster Management to assess the impact of the prolonged dry spell on maize crops in the affected provinces.

Leading the team in Eastern Province, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit -DMMU- Assistant Director Prevention and Mitigation, LIKEZO MUSOBANI said about SEVEN in every 10-maize fields in most districts visited have withered and stressed maize.

In Lupenga Village, under Chief BUNDA BUNDA of Rufunsa District, the first point to be assessed by the team, ESAU NKHOMA, 58,a farmer in the area said the dry spell has cut his anticipated yield of about 200 by 50 Kilogram bags of maize to almost nothing.

And acting Chief Agriculture Economist in the Ministry of Agriculture PETER ZULU who was also part of the Eastern Province team said there is little hope for crops  in the affected fields to recover especially that the maize that was at tussling stage and about to start pollination has been burnt-out.

But Meteorological Assistant at the Zambia Meteorological Department MATAKALA MUSHIMBEI said the dry spell situation in most parts of Eastern Province is likely to remain the same in the next seven-days.

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