FSA sets District Flood Disaster Declaration process in motion

60% or more of crops panted in the Western Free State are at risk because of serious flood damage. “Urgent intervention is going to be needed to assist to keep flood ravaged farmers in the Lejweleputswa District on their land” says Jakkals le Roux, Free State Agriculture (FSA) representative for the Nala Municipality area which covers major maize producing regions of Wesselsbron and Bothaville.

Immense flood damage was also reported in the Tokologo Municipality between Hertzogville and the Christiana, in Tswelopele between Bultfontein and Wesselsbron and in the Masilonyana municipality where a mine tailings dam in which the municipality releases raw sewage burst its walls flooding massive tracts of farm land, possibly with concentrated arsenic and heavy metals.

With these multiple local municipalities all being within the Lejweleputswa District area, FSA has appealed to the District Disaster Management Officer to mobilize staff to conduct an assessment of the extent of the damage. The HOD of the Dept. Agriculture informed FSA that the matter has been presented to EXCO and FSA will be attending a meeting with MEC’s Agriculture & Police, Roads & Transport on Tuesday 11 January to discuss rapidly deteriorating roads infrastructure and the flooding disaster.

Besides possible tax relief interventions from a cash strapped government, FSA also appeals to Agribusinesses, Banks and Insurance Companies to also come up with ways to help keep their loyal clients on their farms as state help alone will not help some farmers who have lost the capital investment put into producing a crop and an entire production season. Le Roux states that comprehensive cover insurance no longer exists and farmers have to specify whether they insure for hail, frost, locusts and/or Chemical damage. Floods and droughts can’t be insured for, only input cost insurance where a production loan is taken out to plant a crop.

Even if it dries out sufficiently after historical record high rainfalls in many parts of the Free State, it is too late to still replant maize, soya and even sunflowers. Where crops survive they are competing with a vigorous weed growth and all fertilizer has leached away requiring expensive foliar feeding or surface spreading. Many farmers are still waiting for water levels to drop that they can get into their lands to properly assess the damage.

VL stel distriksvloedramp-verklaringsproses in werking

60% en dalk meer van gesaaides in die Wes Vrystaat is in gedrang weens erge vloedskade. “Dringende ingryping gaan nodig wees om te help om vloedgeteisterde boere in die Lejweleputswa-distrik op hul grond te hou” sê Jakkals le Roux, Vrystaat Landbou (VL) verteenwoordiger vir die Nala Munisipale area wat groot mielieproduserende streke van Wesselsbron en Bothaville dek.

Enorme vloedskade is ook aangemeld in die Tokologo-munisipaliteit tussen Hertzogville en Christiana, in Tswelopele tussen Bultfontein en Wesselsbron en in die Masilonyana munisipaliteit waar ‘n mynuitskotdam waarin die munisipaliteit rou riool vrylaat, walle gebars het en massiewe stukke plaasgrond oorstroom het, moontlik met gekonsentreerde arseen en swaar metale.

Aangesien hierdie veelvuldige plaaslike munisipaliteite almal binne die Lejweleputswa distrik gebied is, het VL ‘n beroep op die Distrik Rampbestuursbeampte gedoen om personeel te mobiliseer om ‘n assessering van die omvang van die skade te doen. Die Departementshoof van die Dept. Landbou het VL ingelig dat die saak aan die Provinsiale Regering se Uitvoerende Komitee voorgelê is en VL sal Dinsdag 11 Januarie ‘n vergadering met die LUR van Landbou & Polisie, Paaie en Vervoer bywoon om vinnig agteruitgaande paaie-infrastruktuur en die vloedramp te bespreek.

Benewens moontlike belastingverligting-ingrypings van ‘n regering wat sonder kontant sit, doen VL ook ‘n beroep op landboubesighede, banke en versekeringsmaatskappye om ook met maniere vorendag te kom om hul lojale kliënte op hul plase te help hou, aangesien staatshulp alleen nie sommige boere sal help wat die produksie inset kapitaal verloor het asook ‘n hele produksieseisoen beleef. Le Roux meld dat omvattende dekkingsversekering nie meer bestaan ​​nie en boere moet spesifiseer of hulle vir hael, ryp, sprinkane en/of chemiese skade verseker. Daar kan nie vir vloede en droogtes verseker word nie, slegs insetkosteversekering waar ‘n produksielening aangegaan word om ‘n gewas te plant.

Selfs al droog dit genoeg uit ná historiese rekord-hoë reënval in baie dele van die Vrystaat, is dit te laat om mielies, soja en selfs sonneblomme te herplant. Waar gewasse oorleef, ding dit mee met ‘n sterk onkruidgroei met alle kunsmis wat weggeloog het en dus duur blaarvoeding of top-bemesting vereis om ‘n ordentlike oes te behaal. Baie boere wag steeds dat watervlakke daal wat hulle in hul lande kan kry om die skade behoorlik te bepaal.