Namibia: Floods DREF Operation MDRNA010

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Heavy rains during the period of January-March 2017 within the Cuvelai River Basin in Angola and localized rainfalls in Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Omusati has 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 current flooding situation in the Cuvelai is 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 Iishanas as a result of heavy rainfall in the catchment area. HSN hydrological gauging stations recorded highest water levels compared with the floods that hit the same areas in 2008, 2009 and 2011 due to heavy 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. A total number of 182 households have been displaced to relocation camps, representing a total number of 1,092 people who are in need of emergency relief items as explained in the table below.

The above situation is likely to be worsened by flood waves coming from Angola, approaching the already flooded communities. The current flooding limits some communities’ access to basic facilities of education and health. In some parts in Oshana and Omusati regions a lot of schools remain inaccessible resulting in school children and teachers having to walk through water channels to access education and health facilities in other areas.

Displaced communities currently in relocation camps have limited access to proper accommodation, sanitation facilities, access to safe clean water, and lack of preventative items including mosquito nets to prevent potential malaria disease outbreaks.

Coordination and partnerships

The Disaster Risk and Management (DRM) as the coordinating authority in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in collaboration with the MAWF and Meteorological Services issued a joint statement on the floods and requested for contingency planning. However, DRM has yet to arrange a stakeholders’ coordination meeting to provide guidance on joint response activities. The National Society has communicated its planned interventions with DRM Director and continues to coordinate preparedness response. At regional levels, Omusati and Oshana through their respective Regional Disaster Risk Management Committees to which Namibia Red Cross Society belongs, has started coordination at regional level. To date, the Omusati and Oshana Regional Councils have conducted site visits to relocation camps and provided temporary accommodation. NRCS continues to engage RDRMCs for coordination and regular communication with field volunteers to monitor the situation.

The government and the local town councils have so far provided tents and food items to the affected families at the relocation camps. The NRCS has engaged the Acting Disaster Management Coordinator in the Disaster Management Department at the IFRC Pretoria Cluster Office, IFRC Regional Office in Nairobi and the Geneva Disaster Management Team to provide support and guide in planning the response. Apart from the DREF application, no other Movement partners have provided additional funding support but are requested to assist with the replenishment of the DREF allocated to the National Society.