Heavy Rainfall Displaces Residents

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By Reagan Malumo

KATIMA MULILO

Torrential rains have brought catastrophic destruction for several families at the settlement of Chotto in the Caprivi Region whose mud houses have collapsed.

Rains displaced many families from Chotto at the weekend. Those affected had to seek shelter at the Old Legislative Hall while others have moved in with relatives at Katima Mulilo.

The Katima Mulilo Town Council offered the Old Legislative Hall after the affected families appealed for help.

Speaking to the media yesterday, one displaced woman said they were having a difficult time as some among them have had their goods ruined by running water that swept through their houses.

“Our blankets and clothes got soaked and because it is still raining, there is no way to dry them,” she explained.

Though many houses in the Lwabai location were submerged in water, the public relations officer for the Katima Mulilo Town Council, Chrispin Muyoba described the situation at the informal settlement of Chotto as miserable.

Muyoba said even though the town council was yet to make a thorough assessment, the situation at Chotto was bad.

When New Era visited the displaced families yesterday blankets and clothes could be seen hanging outside the hall, while beds and other goods were spread out on the lawn to dry.

Meanwhile, the town in general suffers from blocked road networks and business is slow as the heavy rains continue.

Rains have been falling almost non-stop for the past three weeks and this has further weakened NORED electricity lines.

Some residents saw their electrical equipment going up in flames due to unstable power supply caused by the heavy rains.

Most farmers, however, welcomed the rains and see them as a sign of a possible bumper harvest this year.

Others are worried that unceasing rains hardly give their crop a chance of picking up due to lack of sunlight caused by long overcast periods.

“Some crops are totally submerged in water as the soil is saturated and cannot absorb any more water,” complained one farmer.

The Water Affairs Office at Katima Mulilo was also quick to predict possibilities of massive flooding this year.

Though the Senior Water Technician of Katima Mulilo’s Water Affairs Office, Vincent Simana, was unavailable to give figures on the Zambezi River water level, sources at the office revealed that the recent readings indicated an increase in the level compared to last year.

They predicted massive flooding that could again displace several thousands of people.

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