Heavy downpours over the weekend left scores of people homeless and it also renewed fears of post-harvest losses in Zambia.
According to the Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD), the rain will continue over the next few days with the possibility of flooding in some areas.
On Chilubi Island in Luapula, a hailstorm damaged several structures. This led to a relief response by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), which sent tents and food to more than 30 families left homeless.
“The rains caused serious damage to houses and schools,” said District Commissioner Ernest Bwalya.
Lusaka, Southern, Central and Northern Province also had rain over the weekend. Meanwhile, there are reports of soaked maize in some parts of Zambia. This triggered a last-minute rush by farmers to sell their crop.
“We don’t know yet the quantities of grain affected by the weekend rains, but what we are certain of is farmers who initially were reluctant to sell their maize, are rushing to our depots to have their crop collected,” said a Food Reserve Agency (FRA) employee on condition of anonymity.
Last week, government released K115 million to salvage more than 80 000 tons of maize transporters refused to ferry due to a payment dispute. Concerns about possible damage to crops are mounting, following a forecast of heavy rain this weekend.