Local Experts Warn of Floods

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Good rains received in neighbouring Zambia and Angola continue to swell the Zambezi River with hydrologists saying it is an early warning of floods in the low-lying areas in north-eastern Namibia.

The Head of Hydrology in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Guido van Langenhove, yesterday said the water level in the Zambezi River stood at 1.34 metres, 0.17 meters higher than recorded last year at the same time.

He says it is too early to predict major floods and disruption at the moment.

“Like last year, there have been very good early rains in Zambia (and Zimbabwe), but this year they were more to the east. Many places got more than 400 mm over the last 10 days of December, but the water flows in rivers joining the Zambezi River downstream of Katima Mulilo and it isn’t affecting us,” Van Langenhove said.

Van Langenhove also warned that should heavy rains continue in the next three to four weeks in neighbouring countries that share the Zambezi River with Namibia, water levels are likely to rise and the Zambezi River might burst its banks.

The Zambezi River is shared among six countries namely Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Associated Press reported that floods are ravaging southern Africa, washing away thousands of homes, damaging crops and leaving people stranded on rooftops.

In Mozambique, authorities put the country on high alert, as floodwaters threatened the homes of more than 55ǟ

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