The city of Windhoek is cautioned residents in the so-called informal settlement to take necessary precautionary measures by investing in mitigation to help reduce structural damages to properties.
During the past weekend of flash floods, city councilors visited the sites accompanied by City of Windhoek Disaster Risk Management Division officials to gauge community needs. The division handed over tents, blankets and mattresses to Havana and Otjomuise residents. At least four families’ households have been assisted with a tent each as temporary accommodation thus far.
Nestory Kalola councilor of the Samora Michel Constituency, cautions residents to avoid building homes in riverbeds, as it is not safe. “Riverbeds are dangerous, you cannot stop the flow of water, so do not settle in its path” he says inviting residents to make use of the councilor’s office for any assistance.
The administrator of the Disaster Management Office of the Khomas Regional Council, Katrina Kapolo, encourages residents to submit their names as part of report to the Regional Headquarter for assistance. “If we do not record their names and assess their conditions, we won’t be able to help them as we do not render help on ourselves except from the Regional head office, resident’s needs to come forth.”
“Although the help means a lot, it would be much of a help if they can get better land on higher ground to build better houses,” says Johannes Mutota, a resident in Havana. Also points out the lack of engagements from the councilors who only come to the community when situations as this arise. “This is why we elected them, not to sit around only” he remarks adamantly.
“Resident’s hesitance in moving to higher grounds is one of the challenges the City of Windhoek faces, due to space availability and distance for their school going children,” says Harold Akwenye, City of Windhoek spokesperson.
The City of Windhoek informs that assessments goes few years back and residents were recorded and informed on the process, and the rainy season issues is also not a new issue, urging residents to stay informed at all times through the City of Windhoek’s engagement platforms, such as the nearest offices and contacting the emergency numbers in case of flash floods or heavy winds affecting their homes. The contact numbers are: 061 211 111 for locked municipal drainage system; 061 290 2363 061 290 2363 for roads and storm water division on or customer service at 061 290 3777.
The City of Windhoek will continue to be proactive in every situation that arise to help residents in mitigating sever damages and will continue to look for more amicable solutions to help assess issues arising amongst residents. “Residents should stay away from riverbeds,” he pleads.