Friday, March 20, 2009

(HERALD) Namibia in flood emergency

Namibia in flood emergency
The Namibian.

WINDHOEK - For the second time in just over a year, President Hifikepunye Pohamba has declared an emergency because of the floods in north and northeastern Namibia.

"The current floods could be one of the worst such disasters in recent memory. Certainly, it is worse than the floods that occurred last year when I declared an emergency situation in the affected areas," Pohamba told a media briefing at the old State House in Windhoek on Wednesday.

Pohamba confirmed that 92 people have drowned while citizens in the Caprivi and Kavango have fallen victim to attacks by crocodiles and hippos.

"The destructive nature of the floods is apparent for all to see. This is indeed one of the most destructive forces of nature," the Head of State said.

Last year at the same time, Pohamba also declared an emergency when government failed to deal with the floods in the same areas.

Floods have caused extensive destruction to homes, schools, health facilities, mahangu and maize fields, businesses as well as infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

"The floods have caused a setback to Government efforts to strengthen food security by assisting subsistence farmers to produce more staple food," Pohamba said yesterday.

During the planting season, government provided subsidies to farmers to buy seeds and they were also assisted with ploughing and planting.

"We had high hopes that these joint efforts by our government and the farmers, coupled with early rains in crop-growing areas, would result in a bumper harvest during the 2008-2009 season. — The Namibian.

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