Flood-Damaged Houses to Go

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK The Town Council of LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz might demolish houses at Nautilus township where more than ten dwellings were severely damaged by flooding that occurred over the long Easter weekend. Yesterday, LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz mayor Emelia Amupewa told New Era that the findings of the ongoing engineering study at the eleven affected dwellings would determine which houses are to be demolished. “We have earmarked one already. This house was built at the seapoint maybe 20 years ago and near to it the sewer has formed a dam and it is affecting the house,” she reported. Once the engineers make the recommendations, Amupewa said, the report would be sent to relevant officials at the Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development. The mayor could not reveal how much the council intends spending on the project. Engineers are expected to present their findings by mid-June 2006. Last week, the mayor confirmed the relocation of three families that were severely affected by the floods. This comes after families complained of spending their nights pumping water out of their houses. Council, the mayor reported, decided to relocate these families in order to give room to engineers to investigate where the water could have come from. One of the explanations Amupewa gave was that the houses could have been built on low ground. She agreed that the situation in the areas that were flooded was not conducive for good hygiene and has become a matter of concern to the authorities at the town. Some areas are reportedly covered in algae due to the wet conditions. “We are trying by all means to assist the affected people,” said the mayor. In response, council has made progress in filling up the wet areas with sand. Apart from the identified eleven houses, Amupewa said, some houses in the informal settlement area of Benguela face the same problem. During the Easter weekend, heavy rains caused severe damage to property and left about 500 families homeless. This is the second time that LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz has had to endure the pressure of heavy rains that had hundreds of families displaced and evacuated to higher grounds.