By Surihe Gaomas MARIENTAL The Governor of the Hardap Region, Katrina Hanse yesterday informed the nation and the residents of Mariental that the floods have subsided and the situation is under control although the damage is running into millions of dollars. When New Era arrived at the town yesterday, shop owners and residents could be seen salvaging what was left from the devastating floods as they walked through muddy buildings. At a press briefing yesterday, Hanse said that the recent floods had a severe impact on the town's infrastructure especially the Namibia pig farm, Mariental Chamber of Commerce and the Hardap Agricultural Scheme which is considered the bread basket of the town. "The town has suffered great loss in terms of public infrastructure, residential houses as well as businesses which can run into millions and millions of dollars," said Hanse, adding that the damage that stood at N$35 million in the 2000 floods could well be doubled this time. The governor also said that the dam level has dropped dramatically to 77 percent, while the sluice gates remained closed as of yesterday morning. This helped the water level in the town area to subside, allowing normal movement into the town once again. concern was raised about the quality of drinking water in light of the unhygienic conditions prevailing in the town due to the water pools in the area. The governor noted that the town "sewage system is still not functional and this raises a lot of concern because of the potential danger of disease outbreaks". Although the town water system has been restored, residents are cautioned to boil water before drinking it. Due to the extensive damage to the electricity network, the town's residents will be without power for the next five days, while police patrol is being maintained to safeguard property and infrastructure. Reports say that the people in the Gibeon area have also been affected by the floods. After accessing the area herself, Hanse ordered relief aid to be despatched to that area as well. "These people need food and I have directed that they be included in the food programme," she said. Meanwhile, relief operations continue on the ground as affected families receive blankets and food from the emergency management committee and red Cross societies from neighbouring countries. A 17-year-old boy drowned in the flood area when he went swimming with his friends, and a 15-year-old girl also drowned outside the flood area. In this regard the governor appealed to parents to keep their children away from the flood areas and water holes. New Era also learnt that the four major filling stations in the centre of town are not operational. When the New Era team visited the pig farm yesterday, one could see extensive damage to the buildings that were engulfed in mud. Insurance evaluators were at the scene to assess the extent of damage to the four-year-old business venture.
2006-03-01 00:00:00 12 years ago