ONGWEDIVA – The Okalongo settlement in Omusati region is one of the flood-hit areas in northern Namibia, forcing the authorities to relocate residents to higher ground.
Most nearby villages are only accessible by boats, as roads are flooded. Some residents have already been relocated to higher ground at Onandjaba.
According to Okalongo constituency councillor Laurentius Iipinge, the number of flood-affected victims continues to rise on a daily basis. He said it was mostly residents in the settlement that moved to higher ground. The displaced residents have been allocated tents for temporary shelter at Onandjaba.
“We just don’t know how many people will be at the camp yet, but we are advising everyone to move where it is safe, they should not risk their lives,” Iipinge said.
The flooding has also affected the provision of services such as healthcare in the area. “The government has provided two boats to transport medicine from the local clinic to the residents at Onandjaba for those in need of medical attention. The boats will be assisting the victims during this time of flood,” Iipinge said.
He also said they will continue to provide tents and other urgent necessities to the affected people and cautioned the public not to cross flooded areas.
Heavy rains in southern Angola have resulted in rising water levels in northern Namibia. Northern-based hydrologist Leonard Hango said the water level in Ohangwena West stands at 0,6 metres. However, flood levels in Omusati have subsided, which stand at 0,4 metres, while floodwaters in Oshana are said to be at an optimal level.
Hango said there is still a possibility of heavy floods as heavy rains keep falling in Angola. He cautioned those relocated to refrain from going back to their homes, as they would be risking their lives.
Oshakati Town Council spokesperson Katarina Kamari said the number of displaced people had increased to over 1 000 on Wednesday.