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29 Nov 2007 16:29
Hundreds of people have been left homeless in the landlocked kingdom of Swaziland after a severe storm wreaked havoc, disaster officials said on Thursday.
Ben Nsibandze, chairperson of the National Disaster Management Agency, said 76 households had been given tents and blankets after the heavy rains that began sweeping through eastern and southern Swaziland on Tuesday.
The downpours had been initially welcomed after a lengthy drought but had eventually exacerbated the situation by ruining donated crops, said Nsibandze.
“This is now destroying the little that our people were going to get during the harvesting season, but now they have to start afresh,” he said.
Jimmy Hlophe, a lawmaker for one of the affected areas, said heavy floods had washed away crops that had been planted after donations from the United Nations’s Food and Agricultural Organisation.
“This was the first time for us as a community to get farm inputs and it leaves us in a dilemma as to where we will get other inputs because our people were poor and they depend on food rations from the donor community,” he said.—AFP
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