Botswana: Okavango People Warned of Possible Floods

Mohembo — Communities residing along the Okavango River have been advised to be on high alert as the river's water levels continue to increase, hence the possibility of floods.

Speaking in an interview at Kauxwi on Saturday, Okavango Sub-district Disaster Management Committee chairperson, Mr Thabang Waloka said the floods could occur anytime and therefore the committee had already started making preparations so as to respond promptly.

He said villages prone to floods included, among others, Kauxwi, Xakao, Ikoga and Etsha 13.

Mr Waloka said the water level data recorded at Mohembo during the floods of 2011/2012 was 3.65m, while the threshold level at Mohembo was 3.5m, a level at which the water started to spill.

"The current water level recorded on April 9 is 2.8m, which is 0.70m away from the threshold. You can see that we are not far from reaching our threshold and the inflow from Angola into Mohembo is fast and fills the river quickly," he said.

Meanwhile, a report from the department of Water and Sanitation Services in Gumare indicated that according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry in Namibia, the Okavango River maintained its rapid rise at Nkurenkuru, Rundu and Divundu, where water levels were at 4.79m, 6.99m and 4.15m respectively as at April 2, therefore water levels at Mohembo were expected to continue to rise.

The report also showed that the highest recorded water level in the Okavango River at Mohembo this year was 2.85m in March, while the peak water level recorded last hydrological year was 1.375m in March last year. END

Source : BOPA

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