By Anna Shilongo
Donations towards the wellbeing of flood victims keep pouring in and there seems no end in sight to the support being rendered to people in the flood-stricken areas.
And in response to the appeal by the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS), Agra donated 44 000 water purification tablets and 16kg of Neporex granules towards flood victims.
The donation of water purification tablets and Neporex granules valued at N$30 000, would purify 44 000 litres of water of cholera to make it suitable for human consumption.
Neporex granules are used in the prevention of fly and mosquito larval development in breeding sites such as ponds, stagnant pools, swamps, marshes, puddles and other standing water. They are further used by scattering dry granules.
Handing over the donation, Agra’s Manager, Tender and Special Projects, Hanno Snyman, was hopeful that the donation would go a long way in alleviating the current situation.
“The spirit of giving back to the community has long been part of Agra’s social investment, especially to the agricultural industry, which is our main focus,” said Snyman.
He said Agra took note of NRCS’s efforts, and couldn’t stand idle with hands folded. They thus decided to contribute to the upliftment of the affected families in the flood-stricken areas.
“We aim to make a difference to the lives of people in need and improve the productivity of our people and our land. As corporate citizens, we jointly determine what will become of our society in ten or twenty years in the way that we attend to the challenges of today,” he said.
Receiving the donation, the Namibia Red Cross Society Secretary General, Dorkas Haiduwa Kapembe, welcomed the good gesture.
” We are very thankful to Agra for their valuable support in improving the lives of the vulnerable communities. With this donation from Agra, the flood victims will be able to get access to clear water,” said Kapembe.
NRCS runs about 13 projects across the country, through a team of 548 dedicated staff in all regions and almost 4 000 volunteers.
However, the floods in the northern regions of the country have prompted many people and organisations to start giving and helping others. Victims’ lives had changed over night, while people and children are exposed to the elements and diseases such as cholera, malaria and other waterborne threats.
Basic needs such as clean water and a healthy environment have become critical as a result of floods.
To date, the floods have so far affected more than 65 000 people in the northern parts of the country. Their homes were flooded, roads and crops destroyed while their livestock died. In total, since the donations started pouring in, the deputy prime minister’s office has received about 2,044 million.
Bu according to the Head of the Emergency Management Unit (EMU) Gabriel Kangowa, Government still needs many more. Despite donations pouring in everyday, he said, it is still not enough, calling on good Samaritans to come up with more donations.
“Nobody really knows how long this situation is going to last, and we will be launching a recovery programme for the affected people,” he said.
“These people are affected in a way that you cannot afford to send them back to their homes. Their crops have been washed away, and they will need food security, there will be nothing like harvesting for most flood victims, even Government knows about it,” said Kangowa.
He said only people who normally harvested on high land would cultivate; otherwise Government would provide food for affected families. “I said donations are not enough, because Government alone cannot do so by itself, other stakeholders need to chip in,” said the head of the EMU.
He said Government plans to come up with some quick assessments which will help the affected families once they are sent back.
Asked how is Government going to solve the issue of elders and some families who are refusing to move to higher ground, Kangowa said Government has tried by all means to convince these people but to no avail.
“As much as Government is willing to help these people, there are still some people with attitudes influencing others to refuse to move, and these are the same people who will be at the forefront complaining that Government is not helping them,” he said.
He added that most of these persons with attitudes are surrounded by water but yet they refused to move despite Government’s offer to help them move them to higher ground.
These are basically elders who reason that they have historical associations with the areas.
Earlier this year in January, a team was dispatched to Katima Mulilo and had meetings with local and regional authorities on the possibility of rising floods.
He said information was widely distributed for people to move to higher land but to no avail.
“They waited until they were completely surrounded by water,” stressed Kangowa.