Namibia: Floods DREF MDRNA010 Operations Update No. 1

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Namibia received heavy rains during the period of January-March 2017 within the Cuvelai River Basin in Angola and localized rainfalls in Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Omusati resulted in localized flooding in Iishana (shallow flood plains). On 09 March 2017, the Hydrological Services Namibia (HSN) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) in collaboration with the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), and Meteorological Services issued a joint statement on the looming floods. HSN further warned that the flooding situation in the Cuvelai was comparable to that of 2011, which caused major damages in houses and infrastructure and requested for contingency preparedness and activation. The Hydrological Department in Ondjiva in Angola informed HSN that flood water had reached and flooded Ondjiva, which was likely to increase water levels in Namibian Cuvelai Iishana as a result of heavy rainfall in the catchment area. HSN hydrological gauging stations recorded highest water levels as compared to the floods that hit the same areas in 2008, 2009 and 2011 due to heaving rains in Namibia and in the bordering areas. Through the Regional Disaster Risk Management Committees of Oshana and Omusati regions, Namibia Red Cross Society Regional staff conducted field visits to relocation camps in both regions to investigate the extent and impact of the floods. The table below highlights the total number of the affected people: (see chart).

In Zambezi region, the Zambezi River was flowing at 6.44m compared to 5.6m the same time last year. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry on the 12th of April 2017 confirmed a flood wave that was developing in upstream Zambia at Lukulu, and it was expected that water levels at in Zambezi region would rise again. The floods were expected to displace about 2000 people in that region.

The affected communities could not access some of the basic services such as health and education. Most of the of schools were inaccessible resulting in school children and teachers having to walk through water channels to access them and this also applied to health facilities. Displaced communities in relocation camps were under the risk of diarrheal diseases due to lack of access to safe water and proper sanitation facilities.