Downpour at Lüderitz

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Labour unrest at Sea-flower Fisheries, as well as heavy rainfall on Friday and Saturday that caused severe damage to property, have left the economy of LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz crippled and 500 families homeless. The mining and fishing industry of LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz took a hard knock with little water to conduct their operations. For the second time in just over a week, the town of LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz had to endure the pressure of heavy rain that had hundreds of families displaced and evacuated to higher grounds. During the Easter break around 40 millimetres of rain filled up every possible empty space at the town. The situation repeated itself once more this weekend when the town was bombarded with yet another downpour on Friday and Saturday clocking over 100 millimetres in just over two days. People from the shack settlements, who were most effected, had to be evacuated from places around the squatter settlement at Sand hotel and accommodated at school hostels and churches. The executive members of the LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz town council were yesterday brainstorming on how best to deal with the crisis situation. Governor of the Karas Region David Boois said that the latest rainfall has severely damaged the property of the town, leaving most businesses crippled. He therefore stressed the urgency for government to assist with much-needed funds and emergency materials to rescue the situation. “Government must help us because we don’t have the means to repair the damaged properties,” explained Boois, adding that any kind of assistance will be appreciated during this time of need. At the moment the Regional Emergency Management Unit (REMU) of Karas does not have the means to address the situation effectively since it is not yet decentralised. Steps are now being taken to assess the extent of the damage at the town. Boois noted further that there would be an emergency council meeting today and another with REMU tomorrow on how best to tackle the situation on the ground. According to statistics from the Windhoek Meteorological Services, rainfall along the coastal towns during the past weekend has been high, leaving towns swamped since their drainage systems are not designed for such heavy rain. On Friday the town recorded rainfall of 21,4 mm; yesterday it was 1,2 mm and on April 16 it had stood at 4.6mm. However, it is anticipated that the rainfall situation at the coast will gradually subside.