By Catherine Sasman
The Department of Rural Water Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture said the water level in and around Oshakati has remained constant over the last number of weeks.
The water level has so far, however, not shown any sign of declining.
Water levels taken at the Sky Bridge (locally known as the suicide bridge that is in the middle of the busy main road) was 3.5 meters deep, while the level at the Okanjengedi Bridge registered at 1.45 meters.
“More rains are expected until the end of April, but the situation can only get better from here on,” said Leonard Hangu, a hydrologist with the ministry’s Department of Water Affairs, who is monitoring the Cuvelai area.
Hangu and Jakob Doetsch from the GTZ have been monitoring the rivers around Oshakati and further outwards since the beginning of the flooding in January.
The ministry had installed telemetry stations (reading the water levels) along the border between Namibia and Angola in the streams of Shakabebe and Shanakumono last year, that provide an accurate reading from the waters coming from the mountainous Cuvelai region across our northern borders.
This water streams into the low lying oshanas, and eventually end up in the Etosha Pan, which Hangu and Doetsch said is near-overflowing.
In earlier years, the magnitude of inflow of surface waters from Angola had not been measured, but the water division had done measurements for the first time in 1995 when there was some flooding in the northern areas.
Doetsch said the division plans to install water-reading stations across the Oshana areas to track the inflows.
With Oshakati in the middle of the Oshana, it has been particularly hard hit this year, and, said Doetsch, with the combination of local rain and surface water, the situation was aggravated.