Windhoek-Due to heavy flooding experienced in the Zambezi, many schools in the Kabbe flood-prone areas have been cut off – leaving learners and teachers exposed to harsh conditions, as they have to cross streams using dugout canoes risking their lives from crocodiles lurking under the water.
Such an undertaking can be very risky due to dangerous animals such as crocodiles and snakes that come with these floods.
Despite the dangers posed by serious floods in the flooded areas, school-going children and their teachers are still in limbo, as to whether they will be relocated to higher ground or not.
The Zambezi Regional Governor, Lawrence Sampofu, yesterday confirmed the floods, saying the Zambezi River is rising very fast.
Last week, he said, the level of the Zambezi River stood at 4.11 metres compared to the same time last year when it rose to 2.38m.
Sampofu said schools in Kabbe South constituency are all surrounded by floodwater.
Some schools are in the epicentre of the flood zone, such as at Schuckmannsburg, Namiyundu, Nankuntwe, Muzii, Mpukano, Masikili, Ivilivinzi, Lisikili, Imukusi, Mbalasinte, Nsundwa and Nfoma.
“All these schools are not accessible by road. The schools are not yet closed. If the floods get more dangerous then we will close the schools and move the learners to relocation camps. The learners are using dugout canoes to get to school and its very dangerous because of crocodiles and snakes in the water,” he said.
He revealed that the Zambezi regional disaster risk management committee has put in place relocation camps, should the need arise to evacuate those affected by the seasonal deluge.
He explained that the regional disaster risk management has identified three relocation camps; namely Kabbe, Katima Mulilo Holy Family Mission and Lusese.
However, he was quick to say, many villagers refuse to move to higher grounds, which defeats the whole purpose of setting up relocation camps.
Last year, no villager was relocated because they refused to be moved to the relocation camps.
On humanitarian aid, he said the regional council is yet to apply to the Office of Prime Minister for food if the villagers agree to be evacuated.
Asked on the other government services that have been disrupted by floods, Sampofu revealed that since floods just happened two weeks ago, villagers are still using dugout canoes to reach essential services such as clinics.
“We have mobilised boats from ministries such as environment, and agriculture and also from the regional council. We also mobilised mobile ambulances from the ministry of health,” he said.
Further, he said the floods have submerged crops – destroying entire fields.
This could mean villagers in those affected areas will eventually have a poor harvest.
Regarding livestock, he said he personally went on air since January to urge the residents to move their livestock to higher ground.
Sampofu noted that some villagers heeded his call while others did not.
Therefore, he said, villagers should continue to move their livestock while there is still time.