Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Damage report - South African floods

South Africa's National Disaster Management Centre is expect to present it's assessment of the damage done in the 8 provinces of the country affected by flooding in late 2010/early 2011 to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Disasters.  The flooding caused many problems and raised concerns about South Africa's disaster response capacity and the state of the water management infrastructure. A lot of the damage was done when dams broke, flooding areas that were unprepared to deal with the disaster. The full report doesn't appear to be out yet, but some detailed information is given in the news release.

The sectors most affected by the flood damage, according to the release, were agriculture, transport and education. 293 schools across the country were damaged. Roads and bridges were damaged or washed away in several provinces. Agriculture was seriously affected. The sector is estimated to have lost millions although financial estimates from this report have yet to be released. It is also important to note that farmers across many different farming types have been affected: cotton, vineyards, lucerne, maize, vegetables, field crops, fruit, maize, soybeans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, citrus, cabbages, sunflowers, orchards, cattle, sheep and goats. Of course, the severity of the damage and loss varies from place to place but this wide-spread loss, across so many farming sub-sectors, is likely to have some impact on the profitability of South African agriculture (one of the largest employers in the country), the attractiveness of the sector to investors and the food security of the country.

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