—-Floods have washed away about 22.75 hectares of crop field in Chimtende Farming Camp in Katete district of Eastern Province.
Katete District Commissioner, Peter Kaisa, told ZANIS in Katete soon after a District Disaster Management Committee meeting at his office that it is unfortunate that the situation has happened at a time most farmers have used up their farming inputs.
Col Kaisa said the incident happened on Sunday, January 12, when the district received heavy rainfall for a prolonged period of the day.
The District Commissioner named the affected villages as Chingwaba, Chafela and Munyamadzi Farm Settlements with the main crops affected being maize, cotton and groundnuts.
Col Kaisa said about 20,000 households in the named areas had their fields partially or completely washed away.
And an on-the-spot check by a team led by District Agricultural Coordinating Officer (DACO), Robbie Musendo, along Munyamadzi River farming camp, found that the situation on the ground was bad.
Mr Musendo said it is regrettable that there is little time remaining for this season that could allow farmers to replant or shift to other areas where they could grow early maturing crops.
Meanwhile, one of the affected farmers Faindani Daka, of Chingwaba village, who had about 1.5 hectares of his maize field washed away, expressed shock in the manner the incident happened.
Mr Daka said villagers were stunned by the manner in which water came and wiped away their fields around 12:00 hours on the material day when the village had only received showers of rainfall which could not have had force to destroy anything.
He further explained that most people assumed that some dams in Walila and Kalobe could have broken down thereby forcing water to spill into the fields that are along Munyamadzi River.
Mr Daka, who heads a family of nine, has pleaded with government to quickly look in the matter and provide a lasting solution.
He said farmers in the area are ready and willing to move to other places which are away from the river if provided with early maturing seeds and fertilisers as they have already lost huge amounts of inputs and labour.
He said chances of the situation recurring are high as the same situation had happened even after the fateful day though with less impact.
Mr Daka has since encouraged farmers in the affected areas not to relent but work hard and help fight poverty in their families and as a country.