On 29 March, the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) declared a national emergency to respond to large-scale flooding in seven northern regions (Caprivi, Kavango, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto) and requested support from partners. At the onset of the floods, the GRN committed substantial resources to the response by providing 30 million Namibian dollars (approximately US$4.5 million1) and also established the Floods Emergency Management Coordination to coordinate the emergency response in the affected regions. Following the declaration of a State of Emergency, agencies carried out a joint rapid assessment from 6 to 9 April, the results of which underpinned the initial Flash Appeal launched on 14 April which requested $2,310,450 for emergency response. The total funding received to date amounts to $1,422,420 (62% of original requirements) mostly for meeting critical life-saving needs.
The latest official figures from Floods Emergency Management Coordination show that 134,219 people were affected, amounting to 31% of the total population in the affected regions, which was a marked decrease from the original estimate of 200,000 people provided by the joint rapid assessment due to certain areas being inaccessible. 106 people were reported drowned and about 40,600 people were displaced with up to 17,500 people in 78 relocation centres. 208 schools were closed and 65,767 children were temporarily cut off from school. At least 12,278 crop fields (55,585 hectares) were destroyed in Oshana, Omusati and Kavango Regions alone. Agriculture – the main livelihood of most of the affected communities – was disrupted and important economic infrastructure such as roads and bridges were also damaged.
Latest updates indicate that 2,065 people remain in the camps which is a marked drop from the 17,500 at the peak of the floods. These people still require assistance with basic life-saving needs such as food, health services, water and sanitation and protection. While most schools have reopened, there are still residual needs in relocation centres as well as rehabilitation of schools that were affected by floods. While initial intervention mostly in the relocation camps helped to avert a potential health crisis due to possible disease outbreak, some of the health services were inaccessible and immunization programmes were disrupted which pose a risk of disease outbreak if no immediate measures are implemented to rectify the situation. People who have returned to their original places are faced with challenges of rebuilding destroyed houses and restoring livelihoods which is one of the priority areas for government and the humanitarian community.
The end of the rainy season allowed floodwaters to recede in most of the affected regions and as of 10 July 2011, most of the families in relocation centres had returned to their homes trying to restore their livelihoods. The humanitarian strategy is now two-fold: to provide basic life-saving assistance to those still in relocation sites, and to assist returnees in reconstructing their livelihoods. To support the GRN, the international humanitarian community, including the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations (UN) agencies, is seeking revised requirements of $3,798,201 to address the immediate needs of affected people. The revised Flash Appeal covers humanitarian needs (including early recovery) for the period of July to October 2011.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.