State of emergency declared in Namibia

2011-03-29 22:30

Windhoek - Namibia's President Hifikepunye Pohamba Tuesday declared a state of emergency in northern parts of the country after heavy flooding displaced nearly 10 000 people and washed away roads.

"I and my cabinet colleagues have discussed the prevailing situation in depth, consulted various experts... and I have come to the conclusion that I declare an emergency situation in the north and northeastern parts of our country," Pohamba said at State House.

About 62 people have drowned in Oshakati, 720km north of the capital Windhoek and 5 000 have been driven from their homes.

Pohamba told reporters that 247 schools had had to close because of rising water levels, with clinics and homes submerged.

Since January heavy rains have been pounding the northern parts of the country, resulting in high water levels in the Zambezi river along the northeastern Caprivi region and the Okavango river which borders Angola.

"Namibia is once again experiencing most devastating floods... this could be the worst flood disaster in (its) recorded history," Pohamba added.

He said he was worried that floods may affect crops of maize, which is the country's staple food, and the government has made available N$30m to address the emergency.

More rain in southern Angola was expected to increase chances of flooding in north central parts of the country, where rainfall is also expected.

In March 2009, floods killed 92 people in this southern Africa desert country.

  • Ozman - 2011-03-30 01:24

    Reading the names of Oshakati,Caprivi bring back memories.

      Nico - 2011-03-30 06:42

      Very good memories for me too...... Man are you talking now :-)

  • Martin du Plessis - 2011-03-30 02:14

    i live windhoek, and i can understand the emergency deal. Halfo of OUR roads are semi-washed away as well. Just this morning we had 25 mm in about 30 minutes all of a sudden. Which brought the total for our portion of Windhoek to 1000mm since the start of the year. Our normal fare is around 300mm PER YEAR.

  • ArtGee - 2011-03-30 05:11

    South Africa is send 40 Tons of PRONUTRO to "DRY UP" the said area!

      aa gone - 2011-03-30 11:35


  • Pasha - 2011-03-30 07:25

    what a huge difference it must be to see what is essentially a dry land flooded... wow what is happening to our world

  • Utopian - 2011-03-30 07:34

    When I visited Namibia three years ago, I could already see that rainfall was abnormally high. I lived in WIndhoek for nine years and the climate these days is just crazy.

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