Oshakati-The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, recently visited flood victims in Omusati and Oshana regions to familiarise herself with their needs and living conditions.
Shaningwa visited Okalongo, Tsandi and Ekuku flood reception areas at Oshakati in Oshana Region that accommodate 570 flood victims who include 123 children under five years of age, 159 children from ages six to 18 years and 289 adults.
Pregnant women and people with disabilities are also accommodated at the reception centres in 32 tents.
The flood-displaced victims hail from Oshoopala informal settlement, which is a flood-prone area. They were relocated on March 3. They informed Shaningwa they are in need of extra showers, mosquito nets, toilets, electricity and a temporary kitchen where they can prepare their food when it rains. Currently they cook in an open area.
“Our tents are leaking because some of them are old. We also face hunger as we don’t have food to eat because we lost our income that we generated from selling kapana. Now we can’t sell any here,” said Emilia Haufiku, one of the victims at Ekuku.
Shaningwa commended local authorities, regional councils and Namibia Red Cross Society for the assistance they provided to victims thus far.
“I have already started connecting some of the troubles that were expressed here to some business people and they have already indicated they will support us with food and toiletries – so some of the needs will be addressed by business people,” said Shaningwa She advised people especially in the northern areas to stop erecting structures in areas that are prone to floods.
“We should always contact the town councils whenever we want to put up our houses anywhere, instead of just putting up our shacks anywhere – even if we are not directed to put up our houses there,” said Shaanigwa.