Toddler Drowns in Floods

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By Chrispin Inambao WINDHOEK A three-year-old toddler became the latest victim of the flooding that has engulfed the Caprivi floodplain, swamping hundreds of maize fields, displacing thousands and forcing the Chobe – a tributary of the Zambezi – to change course flowing westwards. Detective Inspector Christopher Kalimbula Masule availed the information concerning Ntwala Simasiku who was swept away from her mother’s back where she was strapped. The toddler was travelling with her mother and father in a rudimentary boat carved from a tree trunk when the dugout canoe sank after being rocked by waves. Ntwala’s death brings to seven the number of known flood deaths this year. The victim, the seventh life to be claimed by record flooding that has turned vast expanses of Kabbe constituency into a water-world, was swept off the back of her mother while the husband and wife tried to swim to safety for their lives. The incident, according to the senior detective, took place at around 16h00 in the vicinity of Kasika. The family was travelling from Makoma to Kasenu village by canoe, one of the modes of transport, as all the gravel roads in that area are now impassable. Her body was yesterday still at the mortuary at Ngoma awaiting a post-mortem. Yesterday, the flood level subsided to 7.25 m after it swelled to a record 7.28 m on Sunday. The reading on Saturday was also 7.25. Last Thursday it reached 7.18 m. Sources at Katima Mulilo said the floodwater has now reached the bridge at Bukalo. One hydrological expert projected the flood level could rise to a peak of at least 8.00 m. Government has again dispatched a top-level team to do a thorough assessment, while cabinet has already approved funds for flood relief in the form of tents, food and water purification tablets and for the procurement of several non-food items for victims.