Gaborone — TROPICAL Cyclone Dineo-induced flooding has left hundreds of families homeless and sheltering under dire conditions in Botswana. Over 650 households have been severely affected by flooding while more than 500 houses have been destroyed and infrastructure, telecommunication lines and livelihoods disrupted in the affected districts. Some 300 households have been displaced and housed in community halls, schools and churches.
As a result of floods, bridges have collapsed, roads have been closed and health facilities have been overwhelmed. The Government recently closed schools in some districts to reduce the risk of children drowning, however in some districts children must still travel long distances to school in sometimes dangerous flood conditions. Water sources have also been negatively affected, posing a further threat to the displaced. Destroyed latrines, stagnant water, and contaminated boreholes have heightened the health risks as well as the risk of waterborne and communicable diseases.
Gaborone Dam, the water source in the capitol city, was at high risk of overflowing, which posed a risk to those residing in flood plains adjacent to the river. To ensure the woes of the displaced population did not deteriorate, the Red Cross said preventative water and sanitation interventions are a priority for the humanitarian community. "The National Society will continue conducting assessment during the operation to find if there are any needs arising," Red Cross stated.