Namibia

Disaster managment unit ready for floods

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by Irene Hoaës

WINDHOEK – The Directorate of the Disaster Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister says it is prepared for any flood situation.

“We are ready for the floods but we will never have sufficient resources, as we do not know the magnitude of the flood if it occurs,” said Jefta Itenge, the director of the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management.

Due to the predicted normal to above-normal rainfall by the Southern African Weather Office, Itenge foresees possible floods in the traditional flood areas, such as the central north and northeastern regions of the country.

“We are well-prepared because preparedness to us is a process and we are committed,” he assured Namibians.

Each year, floods displace hundreds of Namibians in flood-prone areas causing emergency services to commit resources and other life-saving measures to those affected.

The directorate has now deployed disaster field coordinators in all the 13 regions of the country.

It is also coordinating floods operations with stakeholders at national and regional level, which includes operational partners and developmental partners.
According to Itenge, they have resources such as tents and boats, while other resources such as food will be acquired if need be.

“Other resources like land might also be needed for temporary relocation but for that, we have to negotiate with municipalities or councils,” he added.

The directorate has started to review regional contingency plans, an activity that is supposed to end in the second week of February.

“During the exercise, stakeholders will be informed of their task during, before or after the floods,” Itenge noted.

This review needs to be done every year, so that they can prepare themselves.
Itenge does not foresee any drought during this season, taking into account the predicted normal to above-normal rainfall.

This is despite the fact that the current rainy season had a dry spell, which might after some sectors in agriculture.