Floods a National Disaster

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… President Sends SOS to International Community

By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

President Hifikepunye Pohamba yesterday declared the floods in the northern regions of the country a national disaster, sending an SOS to the international community to step in and render assistance to the country amid fears of biting food shortages and serious damage to infrastructure.

“I have no other option but to declare that an emergency situation has arisen in the north and northeastern parts of the country. Thus, the necessary interventions must be put into operation to face this emergency,” he said yesterday at a media briefing at State House.

Torrential rains in the usually dry central and northern parts of the country have washed away roads, bridges, submerged schools and clinics and claimed more than 40 lives.

“This could be the worst disaster in many years … survival of a large percentage of our population in Namibia is under serious threat,” said the President.

The current situation, he added, requires the Government to act immediately to avert this crisis, which could grow out of proportion.

However, Government resources alone are insufficient, given the magnitude of the situation.

Pohamba appealed to the international community to assist Namibia in the short-term with food, blankets and tents.

In the long-term, the President said the country would have to reconstruct bridges and roads destroyed by heavy rains. He reiterated that Government resources alone cannot cope with the situation hence a call to the international community to assist in the present crisis and its aftermath.

“I therefore, appeal to the international community to assist our Government to carry out a reconstruction programme as a result of destroyed infrastructure,” said Pohamba.

Equally, Namibians are called on to work together and render assistance.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry says communal farmers have lost about 25??????’??

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