16 April 2018

Namibia: Flood, Rain Cause Havoc in the North

Ongwediva — Recent heavy rains and floods wreaked havoc in some parts of the northern regions, flooding schools as well as residential areas towards the end of last week.

Those at the receiving end include school-going children in Omusati and Kunene regions as well as homeowners at Oshikuku Town Council, both within the formal and informal settlements.

On Friday, the Kunene Education Directorate released 172 learners at Otjimuhuka, a unit of the Ondao mobile schools in the Epupa Constituency, after their school was flooded on Friday morning.

The Director in Kunene Region, Angeline Steenkamp, on Friday told New Era that a team led by the education inspector was dispatched to the school to assess the situation.

Steenkamp said a team from the regional office is also expected to be at the school today to move the unit to higher ground.

No further flooding of schools was reported in the region by yesterday.

In Omusati Region, New Era understands Oshikuku Private School on Friday also released learners after the school was flooded following heavy rains on Thursday night at the town.

The Omusati Region last week also suspended classes for learners in pre-primary and Grade One at the Oshiputu Combined School in Anamulenge Constituency.

The Director of Education in Omusati Region, Laban Shapange, said the school became inaccessible for the young learners the majority of whom cross borders into the country daily to attend classes.

Still in Omusati, homeowners at Oshikuku Extension 1 as well as those at informal settlements were also flooded after Thursday's heavy rains.

The residents blamed the flooding at the town on the lack of stormwater channels.

The residents claimed that the flooding at the town has become a yearly occurrence every rainy season, accusing the council of being reluctant to act.

Local economic developer and public relations officer at the town, John Siloiso, admitted there are no water storm channels at the flooded areas.

He said the affected properties are, however, constructed in low-lying areas, but he assured that the council is monitoring the situation to assist where possible.

"As we all know, the rain received in the last couple of weeks in different areas is above normal. In Oshikuku, most affected properties, especially National Housing Enterprise (NHE) houses, are those in low-lying areas. This coupled with a lack of stormwater channels led to Friday's situation," said Siloiso.

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