Namibia

Flooded schools to reopen in phases

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by Francis Xoagub

OUTAPI – Schools in flood-hit the Omusati Region will open in phases after they were closed due to the recent rains.

The Omusati Regional Education Directorate confirmed this during a flight over flooded schools by the Deputy Minister of Education, David Namwandi, on Saturday.

Education authorities were forced to close 70 schools in the Omusati Region after the recent heavy downpours as a safety measure to mitigate the emergency that endangers lives.

Omusati Education Deputy Director, Loide Shatiwa, who accompanied the deputy minister to selected schools, said local emergency committee staff are on standby for more rainfall across the region - but said flood water is beginning to subside and some schools will be reopened.

She told New Era that the “situation is improving and water levels are going down and we are in a favourable position to reopen some of the schools in phases, especially from Grade 5 to 7.

“We have deployed additional crews and resources to help deal with incidents that come with flooding such as waterborne diseases and snakes,” she said.

The Inspector of Education, Laban Shapanga, said, “What we mean by reopening schools in phases is we have instructed learners in Grade 1-4 to remain at home until the water have subsided to a level where they can cross, while Grade 5-10 might start by next week.”

Meanwhile, Namwandi called on the corporate world to support the government in mitigating the floods. “We urge the corporate citizens and ordinary people to play their role and help our brothers and sisters who are affected.

“We should not be caught with our pants down. We have to be prepared and put mechanisms in place and in anticipation of a worse situation,” he said.

He called for support to sustain flood-affected schools and communities. “When the worst floods come, then we will not be running around looking for support. We need to be prepared,” he said.

During the tour, the Deputy Minister who was accompanied by Nampol Deputy Commissioner Flip Blaaw visited Oshikulufitu Combined School, Oshiputu Primary School and Ondeitotela Primary School to assess the situation.

He will submit a report to the national emergency unit in Windhoek