International aid for Namibia in aftermath of floods

News and Press Release
Originally published
(New York, 8 March 2006): Namibia is beginning to recover in the aftermath of flooding in late February. On 25 February 2006, the western side of the town of Mariental in Namibia was flooded after sluices of the Hardap Dam, which are fed by more than eight rivers, had to be opened to alleviate its rising waters. By 28 February, the situation had improved as floodwaters subsided.
While the main road going to South Africa has been re-opened, it suffered significant damage and warrants immediate repair. To date, five people have died due to the floods while 330 households (2,100 people) remained displaced as of 3 March. Since schools are about to resume, the displaced people will have to be relocated. Although the sewerage system is being restored, and water tankers are being placed in strategic areas of the town, only one water reservoir is functional and water quality remains a problem.

On the national level, following a visit to the area to assess the level of destruction, the President of Namibia indicated that the Government would make available USD 1,500,000 to restore life to normal, repair roads, and rehabilitate health facilities and other damaged infrastructure. The EMU has been delivering food and cooking oil to the affected population. Water and sanitation engineers have also been deployed to Mariental and the NRCS has distributed 25,000 water purification tablets.

In addition, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Geneva has approved Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) funds and the Regional Delegation in Harare has sent relief supplies. The Humanitarian Service of the Church of Jesus Christ, based in Johannesburg, will disburse USD 5,000 for the purchase of oral rehydration salts. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will shortly provide an additional 10,000 water purification tablets to the EMU. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has allocated USD 6,600 for the provision of hygiene kits to the 330 affected households. The United Nations is dispatching these kits to Mariental in liaison with NRCS.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Elizabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile +41 79 473 4570.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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