UNICEF Namibia Humanitarian Situation Report #2, April 2017

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Namibia has received rain associated with La Niña following four years of drought. However, the heavy rains have caused flooding which has affected 155,924 people, displacing 3,331. The Government of Namibia has responded with shelter and services for the displaced. The caseload of displaced people is expected to increase as river levels continue to rise.

  • Stagnant water has also caused a sharp rise in Malaria cases with almost 12,000 cases and 18 deaths reported in the first three months of 2017. The Namibian Government has deployed teams to actively search for cases and provide immediate treatment. UNICEF is providing 15,000 bed nets to protect children and pregnant women in the affected regions.

  • The Fall Armyworm outbreak has threatened the livelihoods of up to 20,000 farming households.

  • At the end of 2016, USAID generously contributed US$ 1.4 million to purchase tankers for UNICEF to provide safe water to drought and flood affected communities. The first of eight tankers arrived in April 2017, with the remaining seven expected by the end of May 2017.


Total population in flood affected areas (of which 70,000 children)

Population displaced by floods and receiving support

Cases of malaria (Jan-Mar 2017)

Malaria deaths (Jan-Mar 2017)

Children 6-59 months affected by severe and moderate acute malnutrition

Prevalence of wasting among children under-five

Prevalence of stunting among children under-five

UNICEF Namibia Appeal 2017
US$ 2,722,000

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Following the El Niño-related drought over the past four years, Namibia is now affected by widespread flooding in the northern regions bordering Angola. The national drought emergency which was declared in June 2016 since ended in March 2017, and the regional authorities of Kavango East,
Kavango West, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Zambezi are providing support to families displaced by the floods.

Good rains have been observed within the Cuvelai River Basin in northern Namibia during the current rainy season which spans from November 2016 until April 2017. This has resulted in localized flooding in the shallow flood plains in Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati and in the riverine areas of Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions. This has affected an estimated 155,924 people (33,175 families) to date and displaced 3,331 individuals who have been provided with shelter and essential services by the Regional Authorities. As of 10 April 2017, 27,000 learners were affected by the floods in Ohangwena, Omusati, Zambezi and Oshana. Floods caused destruction or damage to homes, schools, safe water supplies, latrines, health centres and economic infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has warned of further extension of the flooding in north-central Namibia. Regional institutions have been alerted and have put contingency measures in place to address those already affected and those who remain vulnerable as the river levels are expected to rise over the next few weeks.

Flooding in the northern regions of Namibia has increased the number of stagnant bodies of water and thus an increase in malaria incidence which affects Namibia’s goal to control and eliminate malaria by 2020. While the country has suffered malaria outbreaks from 2014 to 2017 affecting mostly the six regions bordering Angola and Zambia (Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Zambezi), the increase in incidence for 2017 is significantly worse than recent years. Based on the statement from the Minister of Health on 29 March 2017, 11,902 people had contracted malaria in Namibia, and 18 had died of the disease since January this year. This is more than triple the number recorded from the same period in 2015.

Fall Armyworm outbreaks have been reported in Zambezi, Kavango, and the maize triangle (Grootfontein and Otavi districts in Otjozondjupa), resulting in losses of about 1,980 Ha of maize. In addition, 6,500 Ha of maize is under threat which is growing in commercial farms located in the maize triangle area (Otjozondjupa and Oshakati Regions). This outbreak also affected communal farmers who planted maize or pearl millet under dry land – affecting approximately 13,400 Ha and threatening the livelihood of an estimated 20,673 households.