By Anna Shilongo
Standard Bank Namibia yesterday donated N$100 000 to flood victims in the north.
Handing over the donation, Managing Director of Standard Bank Namibia, Mpumzi Pupuma, said Standard Bank has noted the plight of people in the north and the work that the Red Cross Society is doing.
As a corporate citizen of Namibia, Pupuma said, it is the bank’s duty to extend a hand of help to those that are in need.
“We hope this donation goes a long way to help and relieve the misery,” he said.
At the same time he encouraged the Government to harvest floodwater.
“Let us harvest this water because we are going to need it. Namibia is a dry country and we will need that water in the long run,” said Pupuma.
Pupuma in turn was awarded a certificate as a token of appreciation.
Receiving the donation, Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) General Manager, Dorkas Kapembe Haiduwa, welcomed the good gesture from Standard Bank.
Haiduwa said the fact that Namibia has been classified as a Middle Income Country has led to a reduction in donor funding, especially now that it is flooding in most of the countries in southern Africa.
There is stiff competition for funding and most donors do not regard Namibia as a priority country, she said.
“We feel honoured to receive this donation from Standard Bank Namibia as this will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of most vulnerable communities affected by the floods,” she said.
Despite the Namibia Red Cross being an organisation, it depends on donor funding.
“We depend on donor funding, we rely on the support of the public, private sector and other business entities in carrying out our humanitarian mandate,” she noted.
“It is encouraging to see business sectors willing to support efforts aimed at addressing problems affecting the most vulnerable members of our society,” she added.
Haiduwa said the Red Cross will always be on the ground assisting people affected by floods through a well-structured network of volunteers.
Echoing similar sentiments, the head of the Emergency Management Unit (EMU) in the Prime Minister’s Officer, Gabriel Kangowa, called on other stakeholders in the country to emulate Standard Bank’s example.
” The current flood affects all of us in this country. There is an urgent need for all to assist those who may need our support, it is a natural disaster, nobody planned it,” he said.
He said Government appreciates the manner in which most people are responding to the plight of vulnerable people in the country.
Meanwhile, the evacuation of people continues. More people are also to be assisted with shelter. In Caprivi, flood victims are already being evacuated to higher ground.
” We are also encouraging people to stay away from the waves which are coming from Angola,” said the head of the EMU.
Although some areas are no longer flooded as it was the case in the beginning, he said they would not allow people to go back to their homes for the time being.
“Five homesteads in Omusati spent sleepless nights because of the escalating water level on Friday. We had to send a truck the next morning to evacuate the families,” he said.
Plans are also under way to construct temporary structures and teachers quarters to allow learners to continue with their education.