Wet Conditions to Persist

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

With widespread rainfall recorded across the country over the weekend, meteorologists predict increased wet conditions starting from mid-week through to the next weekend.

Control Meteorological Technician, Jennifer Moeti, yesterday said since early this month, some areas have received above normal rainfall.

Katima Mulilo has received above 217.4 millimetres, Grootfontein 142.9 millimetres, Khorixas 84.1 millimetres and Aranos 56.8 millimetres.

According to the rainfall outlook, heavy falls are expected in the northeast and extreme eastern parts of the country.

Starting on Thursday, rain and thundershowers are expected over Namibia. By weekend, the rains will get heavier and there is a possibility of flooding in the north, east and southeastern areas, warned weather forecaster, Odillo Kgobetsi.

A hydrologist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Guido Van Langenhove, on Sunday reported that there were heavy rains in areas west and north of Oshakati, as well as across the border in Angola.

He said the water level at one indicator station in the Omafu area has started rising significantly and this may indicate the beginning of the floods in the oshanas. More rain is still needed further up in Angola before a real efundja flood, he added.

However, despite heavy rains in the Omaruru catchment area, especially the western and northern parts, there is no reported river flow.

Van Langenhove said the Zambezi River water level continues its early and steady rise at Katima Mulilo.

On Sunday, the water level was markedly higher (2.00 m) than at the same time last year (1.60 m) and much higher than normal for this point in time (1.25 m).

“One must go back to the ’70s to find similar or higher levels above 2.00 m, the highest on record being 3.55 m for January 20, 1979,” he said.

Reports from upstream indicate that the present situation is mainly the result of good rains in southern Zambia at the end of last month and beginning of this month.

Van Langenhove said so far, the Caprivi Region should neither expect a repetition of last year’s flooding nor expect to experience a flooding disaster further downstream in the Zambezi River. He, however, warned that the region should be on alert in case of heavy follow-up rains in the catchment area further north in Zambia and Angola.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that heavy rains continue to fall over Zambia, Southern Malawi and northern Mozambique filling rivers that drain into the Zambezi River.

Several rivers to the south of the Zambezi Valley also continue to rise. There is high probability that heavy rains will continue.

The United Nations report further says that more than 68ǟ

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