Namibia: Floods in Mariental OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0037
Situation Report No. 2
Namibia -Floods in Mariental
Began on 25 February 2006

This report is based on information provided by the Emergency Management Unit (EMU) within the Office of the Prime Minister, the Mariental Regional Council, the Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS) and two of the national newspapers, The Namibian and the New Era.

Event and Impact

1. On 25 February 2006, the western side of Mariental town was flooded after the sluices of the Hardap Dam had to be opened. By 28 February, the situation had improved as floodwater subsided. While the main road going to South Africa was re-opened, it suffered significant damage and warrants immediate repairs. The Ai-Ais tourist resort which is downstream of the Fish River Canyon was also flooded but tourists were evacuated in time and no serious damage to property was reported.

2. Five people have died because of the floods. As of 3 March, 330 households (2100 people) remain displaced. As schools are about to resume, the displaced people will need to be relocated.

3. While the sewerage system has been restored, and water tankers placed by NamWater in strategic points throughout the town, only one water reservoir is functional and the water quality remains a problem. Many people are reportedly suffering from diarrhea because of contaminated water.

Humanitarian Needs

4. The affected people are still in need of the basic supplies such as clean water, food and shelter. These needs will be addressed using in country resources.

National Response

5. The President of Namibia, accompanied by the Ministers of Safety and Security, Works and Transport, Defence and the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, visited Mariental on 1 March, to assess the level of destruction. As a follow-up to his visit, the President described the situation as being of "great urgency" and indicated that the Government of Namibia would release N$ 10, 000,000 (over USD 1,500,000) to "restore life to normal", repair roads, rehabilitate health facilities and other damaged infrastructure.

6. The Emergency Management Unit has been delivering food and cooking oil to the affected population.

7. On 28 February, the NRCS appealed for N$ 800,000 (over USD 130,000) to assist the flood victims. To date, donations amounting to N$ 40,000 or USD 6,500 have been received. By 1 March, the Red Cross Team Leader and the Community Mobilization Officer had set up a structure in Mariental to support the distribution of aid to the flood victims. Two water and sanitation engineers were deployed to the affected area on 2 March and a third was expected to join them on 4 March. The NRCS has distributed 10,000 water purification tablets to 2,000 households. An additional 15,000 tablets have been dispatched as of 4 March.

International Response

8. The IFRC in Geneva has approved DREF money amounting to CHF 90,000. On 3 March, the Regional Delegation in Harare has sent 100 tents, 2000 blankets and jerry cans.

9. UNICEF will provide an additional 10,000 water purification tablets to the Emergency Management Unit to address the shortfall. The tablets are expected to be dispatched to Mariental in the coming days.

10. UNFPA will provide Hygiene Kits to the 330 affected households of Mariental and has allocated approximately USD 6, 600 for this purpose. The United Nations will liaise with the NRCS for the dispatch of the Kits to Mariental.

11. The Humanitarian Service of the Church of Jesus Christ, based in Johannesburg, will disburse USD 5,000 for the purchase of 1,000 boxes of Oral Rehydration Salts (O.R.S.).

MAP: Namibia: Floods in Mariental


For further information please contact:

Ms. Héloïse Ruaudel, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, Office of the Resident Coordinator Tel: +264 61 204 62 33 Fax: +264 61 204 62 03 E-mail

Mr. Chris Kaye, RDRA for RO , Southern Africa Tel: +27833004960 Fax:+27 115171638 E-mail

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Mr. Alfred Nabeta, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2732
Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, direct Tel. +41-22-917 1712

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 5126

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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