Flooding worries continue

16 January 2021 | Disasters

The Windhoek municipality on Friday evening gave a brief update on the flooding experienced in the capital.
According to the City, the average rainfall from 30 December 2020 to 13 January 2021 was recorded between 45mm and 60mm in short periods which was higher than usual, causing a higher flow or overflow of water in the established watercourse. As a result, water levels rose beyond what is considered normal.
Municipal spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said preliminary reports indicate that in the Samora Machel constituency, 71 households reside in informal dwellings on riverbanks and were identified to be at high risk, and had been advised to move to higher ground.
“In Windhoek Rural Constituency, 91 informal structures were identified to be at risk of being flooded, and were advised to move to high grounds.
“Our Emergency and Disaster Risk Management division thus far attended to 42 notifications of floods from various areas of the City between 30 December 2020 and 13 January 2021. The operations to this request varied from pumping out water, unblocking drainage systems, clearing channels and sandbagging as well as closing river crossings,” she said.
Amutenya added that although the flash floods might have caused damage to properties and infrastructure around the City, “we are pleased to report that to date, that no flood-related injuries or fatalities were reported”.
However, “it should be noted that we are still at the beginning of the rainy season, and thus the exact impact and damage to residences and public infrastructure such as roads and bridges will only be known after the end of the rainy season.”
She said that in the meantime the City is continually issuing flood alerts, engaging affected communities in the informal settlements to move from the riverbanks and advising residents on possible mitigation strategies they can employ to lessen the impact of the floods, such as sandbagging.
As a final word of caution she said the City is advising residents, especially those in low-lying areas, to take extra precautions during storms, as sudden flash floods might affect them. “Always obey traffic signs, roadblocks and instructions from law enforcement and emergency officials. Do not take risks!”
The Emergency Services Control Room can be contacted at 061 211 111.