Kasane Under Threat Of Floods

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The tourist resort of Kasane remains under threat and could be submerged by the violent Zambezi and Chobe floods.

Authorities warned on Friday that the flooded river is already encroaching on homes in the tourists resort while five more villages in the Chobe remain under serious threat.

It was not immediately clear how the wildlife is coping with the flood situation. Chobe is home to the world's biggest elephant population and a variety of game.

Already flooding the Okavango, the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers north of the country have displaced 430 people, submerging eight villages, and five tourists facilities. No one has perished yet.

The flooding Chobe and Zambezi rivers  have put 1,000 lives in two villages immediately under threat, according to District officer Orapeleng Modimoopelo, who told the Monitor that the two villages of Satau, and Parakarungu with a total population of over 1,000 could be swept away within a matter of days.

"Water engineers are telling us these are the worst floods here since 1965. The last time a similar flood swept past this place those two villages were sunk, so we expect the same thing to happen, looking at the weight and the speed with which the flood is going," Modimoopelo said.

Although he could not immediately give the figure, the Chobe District Officer told the Monitor that a number of ploughing fields have already been submerged, especially around the area known as the Chobe Enclave.

The Chobe District official also said they foresee the flood sweeping away part of the main road, Kachikau-Parakarungu road "We are busy constructing an alternative route, because that road is going to be washed away soon," he said.

The Chobe officer told the  Monitor  that the Botswana-Zambia-Namibia-Zimbabwe crossing point known as Kazungula, has also been impassable  for two days. "We have been working around the clock to pour more concrete so that we can raise the road level. We hope in the next 30 minutes cars will start crossing between our countries", Modimoopelo said on Friday.

Two lodges, Tsaro Lodge and Thebe Lodge have also been submerged in floods, according to the Chobe District official.

Meanwhile in the Ngami District alone, 61.28 hectares of ploughed fields have been submerged. All in all 38 ploughing fields have been submerged, Ngamiland District Commissioner, Bernadette Malala, said in a phone interview from the Okavango Delta where they continue to monitor the situation and rescue people.

District Commissioner Malala says she expects the number of people displaced by the flooding Okavango to rise by another 500, because another village, Xamasere, is heavily under threat. The village is still being monitored.

She said two lodges situated along the Delta have been submerged while another facility remains heavily under threat. The affected lodges are the Trotsky Lodge and Sepopa Lodge. Shakawe Lodge has also been closed due to the floods, according to Botswana Tourism Board marketing manager, Joe Motse.

Government authorities have already set up a temporary village structure for the displaced.

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