Onghala village cut off by floods

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-Onghala village in the Ohangwena is completely cut off by floodwater and is currently only accessible by helicopters, as there are no proper roads leading to the village.

The village which is surrounded by two wide oshanas remains cut off from accessing basic services, including the health outreach point and the primary school at the village. Its residents have already been airlifted to higher ground.

The number of the flood-affected victims continues to rise on a daily basis and currently stands at 30 households at the two camps in the region, said Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) branch manager Maria Mwakena.

According to Makwena, who is working with Ohangwena Regional Council, said a 100 flood-displaced people have been allocated tents for temporary shelter. She said an additional tent will be set up at Ohangwena B on Tuesday to accommodate more victims.

She said four people were already registered to be relocated. “We just don’t know how many people will be at the camp yet,” she said.

Meanwhile, NRCS in collaboration with Ohangwena Regional Council, has been aiding in putting up tents and providing the affected families with a family kit, which contains basic necessities. The flood victims were also provided with drought relief food by the regional council.

Ohangwena Regional Council spokesperson Panduleni Nepembe said the council will continue to provide tents and other urgent necessities to the affected people and cautioned the public not to cross unsafe water-logged areas so as to avoid casualties.

Leonard Hango, an hydrologist responsible for the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in northern Namibia, said flood levels in Ohangwena West remain high. However, flood levels in Omusati Region have moderated while flood waters in Oshana are said to be at an optimal level.

Oshakati Town Council spokeswoman Katarina Kamari said the number of displaced people had increased to over 570 at the Ekuku relocation camp and cautioned those relocated to the camps to refrain from going back to their homes as they would be risking their lives, given that the water had not subsided.

She said in the absence of rain in recent days, some of the relocated people had been insisting on returning to their homes.

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