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SOUTH AFRICA TO NAME DROUGHT DISASTER AREAS

11/09/2015

A South African official announced on November 4 that Northern Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces will be named "drought disaster areas" in the coming two weeks. This will allow the provinces to receive emergency assistance from the National Treasury. According to the Director of Risk Management in the Department of Agriculture, the province of KwaZulu-Natal will also soon be named a disaster area for agriculture. These are not the first provinces declared drought disaster areas in South Africa. The Free State and North West provinces are already designated drought disaster areas for agriculture. These provinces are plagued with droughts that delay the planting of crops. Mpumalanga grows a range of crops including maize and sugar. It is also the main source of coal production in South Africa, which relies heavily on water resources. Limpopo is home to South Africa’s game ranching industry and many citrus crops. South African farmers were asked by the government to decrease the size of their herds due to the drought conditions. The South African Weather service has announced that the El Nino weather system, expected to bring severe droughts, will likely extend into the fall of 2016. For the full story, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/11/04/us-safrica-drought-idUKKCN0ST0PX20151104