March 27, 2009

Government decides on flood action

GOVERNMENT has decided to draft a master plan for the re-planning of Oshakati to reduce flood damage by removing people from flood-prone areas.

The planning will start by June, said flood co-ordinator Erastus Negonga at a meeting in Oshakati on Wednesday. According to Negonga, towns and villages in the flood-affected regions are drafting plans for storm-water drainage systems. He said Government will soon start pumping water from flooded schools such as at Onesi and Okalongo. Damage sewerage systems will also be rehabilitated “as soon as possible”, he said. Semi-permanent relocation centres with waterborne sewerage systems, security lights and fences will be established at Oshakati, Ondangwa and Helao Nafidi, Negonga announced.

The good news is that the floodwater in the north-central regions is receding fast and relocated people could soon return home.

The number of people affected by floods has dropped to 426 111 from last week’s 709 417, Negonga said. At least 194 schools are still closed because of the floods. One hospital and 19 clinics remain cut off from the outside world. According to Negonga, only one cholera case has been reported, in the Ohangwena Region, compared to 47 cases at the same time last year. The latest flood death toll stands at 112 and two people are still missing after falling into a pan at Oshekedhiya in the Oshana Region on March 5. (Namibian)

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