North braces for more floods

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Nuusita Ashipala

Oshakati-A second wave of floods is anticipated in the next few days if the rain in southern Angola persists, the hydrologist responsible for the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in northern Namibia, Leonard Hango, said.

Southern Angola received heavy rains towards the end of last week.
“Of course we expect that contribution [more rains] to change the current situation. But we also foresee that the current levels across the Cuvelai will remain constant for the next two weeks,” Hango said.

He added that the floods which hit Oshakati last Saturday are only detrimental if they coincide with local rains but in the absence of rain the floodwater passes downstream with minimal impact.

Oshakati did not receive rain over the weekend, hence no significant impact was felt.
In addition, the hydrologist said, the deepening of the Okandjengedi stream and the widening of Okandjengedi bridge has also aided in water moving further downstream.
“It has helped significantly because as we speak now the floods for this year have bypassed the 2011 floods by some margin,” said Hango.

He warns that while a minimal impact is foreseen in Oshakati, the residents in flood-prone areas are cautioned to be vigilant and refrain from crossing streams.
“All streams flowing from Angola carry large volumes of water and there is no exception.

The level of water was expected to increase in Oshakati areas and people living in flood-prone areas are cautioned that a new wave is coming,” said Hango.

Floodwater streaming through Oshikango East crossed the border into Namibia on Tuesday leaving several businesses at Okatwitwi under water.

Apart from the businesses which were forced to shut on Tuesday, 68 people were affected by the floods at Oshikango.

Seven households from Oshikango and Onaminda villages were displaced and were relocated by the Helao Nafidi Town Council to Omafo location.

“Some people chose to be accommodated at family homes while others decided to stay close to their homes,” said the mayor of Helao Nafidi, Eliaser Nghipangelwa.

The camp was availed by northern business tycoon Erastus Shapumba, popularly known as Chicco.

Nghipangelwa said the council was looking into providing relocated people with water and ablution facilities.

Meanwhile, humanitarian organisation the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) has come to the aid of over 140 families at the Ekuku camp in Oshakati in Oshana Region.
A further 45 households at the various camps in different constituencies in Omusati Region were assisted by the NRCS.
No flood victims were reported in Oshakati.

Ohangwena Regional Council was on Friday given additional tents to accommodate flood victims should the number increase.

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