Councillors of the Kabbe North and Kabbe South constituencies have applauded Government’s decision to urgently relocate schools affected by the floods.
Peter Mwala and John Likando made these remarks during a field visit by boat to the worst affected schools in their constituencies on Saturday.
The visit was aimed at informing teachers, learners, parents, school board members and the entire community of Government’s decision to temporarily relocate schools in the two constituencies in the Zambezi Region until floodwater subsides.
The two councillors were accompanied by the Bukalo Circuit inspector of Education and a Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) representative in the region.
At the Nankuntwe Combined School in Kabbe South, all buildings are under water, with teachers’ accommodation as well as toilets the most affected. Only a small portion of the school premises is on dry ground.
The worst affected school in the area is the Muzi Combined School. Here learners sleep in classrooms due to water in their sleeping quarters.
Apart from the flooding, toilet floors and walls are covered in human faeces, which emit a strong stench. Teachers informed Nampa that everyone use the river to bath and to relieve themselves. People also drink water from the same river.
Government last week announced that the prevailing flood situation in the northern parts of Namibia has seen 810 people relocated to areas of high ground and has affected 187 households in total following this year’s rainy season.
Briefing Members of Parliament recently, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila announced that the flood affected regions are Zambezi, Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshana.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the flood resulted from the “efundja floods” in the Cuvelai River which spreads out over the full width of the Cuvelai Delta in southern Angola, subsequently affecting the Northern regions in Namibia.
The Premier noted that regional structures have been activated to respond to the flood situation and stressed that government will continue to render its assistance to the victims.
“All regional structures have been activated to respond to the flood situation and government has and will continue to provide assistance in the form of tents, food, ablution facilities, water tanker services, helicopters for outreach services and insecticides for malaria prevention, mosquito nets as well as cooking utensils,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
The Prime Minister also thanked the Namibia Red Cross Society for coming on board in supporting the “affected people”.
Additionally, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said people living in flood prone areas were “warned” of the raising water levels.
“Early warning information was provided by regional and constituency councillors informing communities living in flood prone areas of the raising water levels and requested them to move to higher grounds.
“It is important for communities to cooperate and adhere to these warning while government is working with all stake holders in finding a lasting solution and put flood mitigating measures in place,” pleaded the Prime Minister.
Moreover, the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CANDRI) made recommendations emanating from the from the capacity assessment for Disaster Risk Management System with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the assessment identified existing capacities, gaps and needs related to disaster risk management and made the following recommendations to government: understand disaster risks, strengthening governance and institutions to manage disaster risk; investing in economic, social, cultural and environmental resilience and enhancing preparedness for effective response and building back better in recovery and reconstruction.
“The aim is to create community resilience to cope with any form of natural disaster that may occur in the country.
“Government therefore call on support of all stakeholders in dealing with natural disaster in the country and our preparedness to be proactive,” concluded Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
In the Oshana region, the affected people were re-located to the Ekuku centre. According to statistics availed by the Prime Minister, the number of affected households stands at 120, with 566 having been relocated to the aforementioned centre.
According to Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the water levels are increasing from the Cuvelai source and consequently, eight villages in the Ongwediva constituency are surrounded by water.
“Some health facilities have also been affected and those that have been completely cut off receive health services through government helicopters,” she noted.
Moreover, in the Omusati region, the floods have affected 265 people in four different constituency, namely Onesi, Etayi, Outapi and Okalongo. To this end, 265 people have been relocated, eight roads have been damaged and two clinics have been completely cut-off including helicopters that render health services.
Furthermore, the affected areas in the Ohangwena region are Omafo and Omatunda with triggering the relocation of 120 people from 33 household. The affected areas that are not accessible to pedestrians or vehicles are Onghala village and Onghala Primary School and a clinic in Ongenga constituency.
As a result, government helicopters are being used to provide the different services.
In the Zambezi region, 33 households are currently surrounded by water and a further 51 household have their crops fields affected by pests and flood. In addition, nine households’ crop field have been affected by boll worms, according to the figures provided by the Prime Minister.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister indicated that her office was in touch with the affected regions to “coordinate” efforts on the type of assistance needed by effected people (flood victims).
“The OPM (Office of the Prime Minister) is in touch with the affected regions who provide us with updates to enable to monitor and assess the situation and to plan and coordinate the type of assistance government should render to the effected people and communities,” she further noted.-Nampa