At least eight homesteads were destroyed over the weekend by strong winds at Omashekediva and Oikango villages in Ongwediva Constituency.
According to the villagers the incident took place around 21h30 on Sunday night, when most of them had already gone to bed.
A number of buildings collapsed and roofs were blown hundreds of meters away from homesteads, a visit to the villages reveals. Boundary walls are damaged, a number of huts are completely destroyed and trees were uprooted.
Ongwediva Constituency Councillor Andreas Uutoni warned that this is just a beginning and there is a possibility that more houses will be destroyed at the beginning of the rainy season.
He is now urging the business community to assist the affected families by providing them with corrugated iron sheets and cement to rebuild their homes.
According to Uutoni, because some of the homesteads were severely damaged, it will take time before the owners manage to rebuild again.
The councillor further advised members of the community to ensure that the buildings in their homesteads are stronger, by adding extra steel and bricks on top of the iron sheets as a precautionary measure. It is for this reason that the people should avoid using dilapidated structures in the homestead, he noted.
Benjamin Kapula, a resident of Jona Niigambo’s homestead, said he had just gone to bed and locked his room when a strong wind blew the door of his bedroom open.
He managed to close the door, but had to wrestle to keep it closed. Although the roof of his bedroom was not blown off, the damage to the structure will obviously need serious repairs.
At least six structures in Nigaambo’s homestead, including two buildings that were close to completion, were destroyed.
In other homesteads, like that of Victoria Hamundjebo, residents only woke up from their sleep as bricks were falling, forcing them to run out of their bedrooms.
“We fled from our bedrooms, but outside was dangerous too. There were corrugated iron sheets flying. We somehow managed to escape and no one was hurt,” said Robert Namwenyo, a resident of Victoria Hamundjebo’s resident.
The boundary wall and at least five rooms at Hamundjebo’s residence were severely damaged.
Another resident of Omashekediva Village, Meme Saara Matheus, said her son miraculously survived without any injury. She said the young man was just about to lie down when the roof of his bedroom was blown off. Bricks fell from the wall and totally damaged his bed. A number of structures in Matheus’ residence were also damaged.