Rescue Mission in the Oshanas

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Although the floodwaters in the north have receded somewhat, many people
are still cut off from civilisation. New Era went along on a rescue operation
in the flooded oshanas to see how the floods have affected police work.

By Catherine Sasman

OMPUNDJA

The rain started to pound heavily around 06h00. An hour later, large puddles of water had formed around the Oshakati police station, where a rescue team was readying to go out to the east of Oshakati to rescue an ageing mother from death threats by her mentally ill son, and to scout in the deep oshanas for a woman presumed drowned.

This was not a good day for rain, which had by and large petered out. But the weather bureau had warned of possible showers.

New Era was invited to go along to record the rescue mission. The Namibian Police had indicated that it is not too far – between 25 and 30 kilometres – but warned that it would be a difficult drive because the area was flooded.

“Do you have a car?” asked the police. This rescue mission, they said, would have to be tackled by road. The one helicopter at its disposal was out of fuel.

Flying in and out of affected areas to drop off food or pick up people stranded at their homesteads for two weeks cost rescue teams about N$500??????’??

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