On 29 March 2011, a state of national emergency was declared by the President to respond to largescale flooding in the north and north-east Regions of the country along with a simultaneous request for international assistance. The declaration and request for assistance was based on the results of an aerial rapid assessment conducted by the Government from 25 to 27 March 2011.
Following weeks of heavy rain, water levels in northern Namibia were recorded at 30-40 cm higher than the 2009 levels, when a flood emergency was also declared. The most severe flooding has occurred in the Regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto, which form the Cuvelai river basin. Other regions have also been affected, including Caprivi, Kavango and Kunene.
So far, at least 65 people have died. About 60,000 people have been displaced and between 100,000 – 200,000 people (some 5-10% of the population) are estimated to have had their livelihoods affected or destroyed. In comparison, the river water levels in northern Namibia are already 30-40 cm higher than the peak period of the emergency flood conditions of 2009 that affected 360,000 people, or 17% of the population. Many rural areas remain inaccessible as they are completely surrounded by water and can only be reached by helicopters or boats. The sustained high water table resulting from repeated floods over the last three years mean that flood water levels are unlikely to recede for three to six months.
The Namibia Meteorological Service has predicted more rainfall over the central and northern parts of the country for the next two weeks until the end of April 2011. A further flood wave is predicted to occur during the second week of April 2011, due to increased rainfall in the Cuvelai basin in Angola.
The appeal is built upon the initial results of a joint rapid assessment undertaken on 5-9 April 2011 and led by the Government and supported by staff from UN agencies, the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) and other national and international agencies. Final results from this assessment are currently being collated and will be available for analysis by partners after 16 April and will underpin the revision of this appeal. The appeal has also been based upon the detailed Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC) contingency plan prepared for flooding that was updated in March 2011. In close coordination with the Government of Namibia and to complement its activities, the international humanitarian community is seeking $2,310,450 to address the immediate needs of up to 200,000 people who the Government currently reports have been affected by the flooding.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.