City takes a look at flood-prone areas

11 January 2021 | Infrastructure

Windhoek Mayor Job Amupanda and members of the City of Windhoek’s (CoW) disaster risk management division on Saturday assessed flood-prone areas in informal settlements in Windhoek and Groot Aub.
Amupanda, whose delegation also included municipal councillors, visited the Onyeka informal settlement in Okuryangava, Samora Machel, One Nation and Goreangab before heading to Groot Aub in the Windhoek Rural Constituency.
Speaking to Nampa, Amupanda said the visits were aimed at assessing the situation on the ground, which will in turn enable direct and effective policy implementation. “The assessment will provide a thorough understanding of these areas and the conditions on the ground because in some areas one person will move from a flood-prone area and months later someone else will set up a structure in the exact same place. The City wants to assess the situation to have a clear understanding when implementing policies.”
According to councillor Ivan Skrywer, the assessments are essential for policy implementation. “What I have seen throughout the day is that there is a lack of coordination and communication. In some areas it is not really that complicated, it’s the political will that has been lacking to get things done.”
During the assessment at Groot Aub, Skrywer said he encountered people who do not want to settle in flood-prone areas but remain there out of fear that if they move to an area on higher ground, their structures will be regarded as new and would be demolished.
“When you talk to the officials you will hear that the people do not want to move to higher ground, but have they really come down to people and engaged them to hear what their fears and complaints are?”
Another councillor, Austin Kwenani, said the assessment painted a clear image of residents’ experiences with flooding, adding that engaging those directly affected helps with the planning process. “Information is important because it is not fair that you see things on paper without understanding the background. It’s important that you hear both sides and that you have been on the ground to understand and assess physically for yourself. Once you have done that, you really understand the impact of these floods and the necessity of people getting land as a matter of urgency,” he said. – Nampa