Flood-devastated bereaved father relocated

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-The man whose girlfriend is dead and whose three-year-old son is presumably dead after being washed away by flash floods at Ombili has been relocated after he was provided with food and construction material by a councillor who was touched by his plight and possibly a double tragedy.

Apart from relocating the grief-stricken man the City of Windhoek has further identified about 10 shacks in the vicinity of Oshitenda in Ombili whose inhabitants will be relocated immediately.

This was said by the City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise during a press conference yesterday on the emergency caused by the weekend flash floods that brought ruin.

Nehemia Shindinge, 31, was left homeless after the heavy rainwater gushed into his shack, flattened it and swept debris away with his girlfriend whose body has since been retrieved, while that of his son is yet to be found. A search mission is still on to recover the boy or his body.

Despite his heroics Shindinge could only save his newborn baby boy.
The body of his girlfriend, Saima Thomas, who last Saturday gave birth to the surviving baby was discovered about three kilometres away from their shack on Tuesday morning after the community embarked on an extensive search. Their three-year-old son is still missing but presumed dead.

“Under the leadership of the office of the governor, Khomas Regional Council and City of Windhoek, Mr Shindinge has been relocated and provided with necessities to enable him to recuperate. While Nampol, Emergency Services and City Police are still searching for the body of his son,” said Kahimise.

On Tuesday Moses Garoeb Constituency Councillor David Martin donated 18 corrugated zinc sheets, seven poles and six planks to Shindinge to rebuild his shack.

Kahimise further stated he instructed their social workers to engage Shindinge and his family after this dreadful tragedy.

Giving an update on the heavy rain, Kahimise said four vehicles were washed away by Monday’s rainwater in the riverbeds of which three were washed away in Goreangab along Helen Street, Green Mountain and Matshitshi road, all in the settlements.

In light of this Kahimise warned people living in low-lying areas to take precautions during storms as sudden floods might affect them. “Residents living next to rivers and streams must evacuate to a safer place or higher spot when the water level rises,” stated the CEO.

He also warned people never to try to walk through fast-flowing floodwater, or swim or drive in it even if the water is only 15 cm deep, as it can sweep a person off their feet.
He added there isn’t much the city can do if residents continue to settle themselves in riverbeds which are prone to flash floods.

“At the same time we would also like to caution residents to refrain from putting up their structures underneath powerlines, which also poses a threat to their lives,” he said.

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