Ohangwena braces for efundja
…Governor says situation under control
…Military on standby
…Residents fear for the worst
• BY MARX ITAMALO
OHANGWENA governor Walde Ndevashiya says the region is fully prepared to deal with the annual flood locally known as ‘efundja’, which hit the northern region last week.
The governor pointed out that logistically, the region has everything in place to assist affected residents and to mitigate the effects of the deluge.
Ndevashiya stressed that after the flood hit Ohangwena last week, the regional Disaster Risk Management council was activated and the team sat to discuss and deliberate on the situation.
“This committee comprises of different stakeholders such as the Ohangwena regional council, the Ministry of Health, the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), the Ministry of Education and the Namibian Red Cross. We came together and discussed the situation and to map a way forward on how to deal with
the situation,” he indicated.
The governor noted that during the meeting, every member of the disaster risk management team pledged their support towards relief efforts essentially, the NDF who pledged to avail a chopper from the air wing unit and several trucks and soldiers.
The chopper is to be used to monitor the situation from air and
help with evacuations from places inaccessible by trucks whilst military trucks would be used to relocate those affected and help with the transportation of relief supplies.
By January 24, according to Ndevashiya, affected villages in Ohangwena region were Onamhinda and Olunghono in Oshikango constituency, Ouhongo in Engela constituency as well as Eemwele, Oshimbili, Omangela, Omudede, Omanghoshe and Endola villages in the Endola constituency.
The regional council received flood relief materials from the Prime Minister’s office at the beginning of last week, according to the governor. The items include tents, mattresses, mosquito nets, water purification tablets and food.
“The OPM (Office of the Prime Minister) responded promptly to our request for these materials and we much indebted to them,” he stressed.
In their quest to effectively and smoothly coordinate relief efforts, the regional council has setup a communication centre at a warehouse provided by the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA), where several offices belonging to different entities involved in the relief efforts are housed.
Ndevashiya said the situation was under control and there was no need for panic as no death had been recorded.
“I can affirm that no loss of life to either people or animals was reported to our coordinating offices and only two schools were closed last week due to the floods,” he narrated.
The schools in question are the border schools of Onghala Primary School and Shingunguma Combined School both situated in the flood prone Ongenga
Queried about where the regional council would relocate those displaced by the
flood, he pointed out two high ground places were recently identified as perfect locations to accommodate the displaced.
“Tents will be pitched there and all basic necessities will be provided for. We expect relocated members to be there until the flood water subsides and when its safe for them to go back home.”
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