Maun — North West District leadership has activated disaster committees to tackle all disaster incidents that may threaten communities.
While the district continues to fight spread of COVID-19 pandemic, it is reported that it is also faced with some outbreaks such as malaria, locusts and floods.
Giving an update on disaster preparedness, the district commissioner (DC), Mr Keolopile Leipego said disaster committees from Okavango Sub-district and Maun Administrative Authority (MAA) were on high alert and monitoring all situations to ensure prompt action.
He said they had also received reports from farmers about an outbreak of stable fly (lethobo) at some areas around Lake Ngami and a team of veterinary officers had been sent to the affected areas to investigate, assess the situation and map the way forward.
Mr Leipego revealed that recently, some members of the District Emergency Operation visited Mohembo River to appreciate the water levels and found that the levels continued to rise and thus could result in floods.
It was reported that the water flows had already reached some areas in the Okavango Delta such as Xaxaba but Mr Leipego stated that the district was prepared to deal with all issues and ensure protection and safety of the communities.
Ngami District Health Management Team (DHMT) coordinator, Dr Malebogo Kebabonye said they had recorded 19 cases of Malaria and two deaths to date as compared to nine cases with no mortality last year.
She appreciated that issues of floods and malaria outbreaks found the district in motion to fight COVID-19 pandemic, hence easy coordination and usage of resources .
Dr Kebabonye explained that normally malaria outbreak started in October up to March but stated that they had seen a drastic change in the district this season.
She said the health team had already put in place some interventions, noting that they had completed indoor residual spray (IRS) exercise in Okavango and Ngami in February this year.
There was mass distribution of mosquito nets targeting grey zones, citing Bojanala areas, which covered safari industries. Meanwhile, the district might experience high numbers of malaria cases due to anticipated floods.
The district is one of those prone to waterborne diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea and malaria is said to be one of the killer diseases in the Africa continent.
Dr Kebabonye noted that efforts were on going to sensitize the communities about the disease outbreaks and encourage them to practice prevention measures.
Communities were advised to boil water before drinking; not allow children to play in stagnant water; cut grass around homesteads; use of mosquito nets and wear long sleeve clothes that cover the whole body.