Ohangwena flood water moving inward, Oshana ropes in helicopter

Martin Endjala

The northern flood water in the Ohangwena region, reportedly from Angola is moving at a fast current, as the South of Angola continues to receive heavy rainfall, causing the flood water to make its way into the western streams of the region, resulting in flooding.

Senior Hydrologist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Leonard Hango says if no further interventions are made by the Road Fund Administration or Roads Authority, the road leading to Onghala Combined School will overtop this afternoon.

In the meantime, the Governor of Oshana region, Elia Irimari said that the ministry of defense has dispatched a helicopter, personnel and equipment on standby, adding that they are aware of the flood water heading Oshana and Omusati regions.

Irimari stressed that flood water is a natural resource and that it is the behaviour of humankind that leads to flooding as most of the water pathways have been blocked by structures such as buildings and bridges.

The governor has since cautioned residents to stop building their homes in flood-prone areas.

Irimari maintained that nobody is allowed to put up structures at water stream pathways. He further highlighted that towns like Ondangwa and Ongwediva have invested millions of dollars into building underground water passages, adding that this is why the two towns hardly get flooded.

Hango, who doubles as Mayor of Oshakati explained that currently, the concentration of water is heading for stream channels in the western parts of Ohangwena region, describing the flow of water moving fast, a cause for concern.

“When you have a headwater moving fast, it means that there is a lot of water at the back”, explained Hango.

The water is said to have advanced villages such as Omatindi, Omedi, and Oshandubala, with schools in Onghala, Ongenga and Ondilokelwa amongst those affected by the flood. He, however, said that relevant stakeholders are on the ground assessing the situation and are ready, should the situation escalate.

Meanwhile, Ohangwena region Governor Walde Ndevashiya in an interview told the Windhoek Observer that since last week Friday, he has been on the ground with the Namibian Defense Force, Disaster management, the agriculture ministry and other stakeholders making rounds to see the affected areas.

“The region is ready should the situation change, but the water has increased since Friday, said Ndevashiya.

Despite the situation, the governor announced that there was no closure of schools, but they continue to closely monitor the changes of patterns in the flow of the flood water. Other villages affected are Engela and Oimbadalunga.

The Director of the Meteorological Weather Forecast, Odilo kgobetsi has since warned that there is still a development of cells showing persistence in the south of Angola, with more storms expected in the Northern parts of Namibia and moderate rainfall across parts of the South and Central.

He however cautioned residents to take precautionary measures.

By Observer