Recurrent Floods Persist in Zambezi

Floods in the east of the Zambezi Region that have affected schools still persist, defying the norm that has seen water levels subsiding and flood victims returning to their homes during this time of the year.

The two schools of Muzii and Nankuntwe were forced to relocate to Katima Mulilo last month after flood waters inundated the schools when they reopened two weeks ago. Due to the lack of space for learners, Mpukano Primary School had to be closed. The three schools have been given up to one month to allow the flood waters to subside before they can reopen.

Over 100 Grade 10 learners from Muzii and Nankuntwe now find themselves receiving lessons in makeshift classes at Chesire Home on the outskirts of Katima Mulilo. Kabbe constituency councillor, who also serves as the chairperson of the Zambezi Regional Council, Raphael Mbala, noted the flood task team was supposed to visit the flood plains last weekend to assess the situation, but the plan has been shelved because the situation remains unchanged. “The team was supposed to go there on Saturday, but the information we received is that there’s still a lot of water. Even though the water level is subsiding the three schools are still under water,” said Mbala. “The water level is going down every day. We thought if we send our team now, it will be a waste of resources. The team will go after two weeks and we are sure that by that time the water level would have gone down significantly,” said the councillor.

When this reporter visited the flood plains last month conditions at the three schools were appalling. Ablution facilities were completely under water, compelling people to use canoes to answe the call of nature and making them susceptible to crocodile attacks and waterborne diseases. Before the relocation the water swamped school buildings consigned learners and teachers to cramped spaces, while some teachers were forced to store furniture and other household belongings on the school veranda. Although the water levels continue to fall, the latest statistics from the Hydrological Services Namibia agency indicate that on Saturday last week the water level stood at 5.41 metres. Last year during the corresponding period it stood at 3.75 metres. The agency further says the normal water level for this time of the year is usually around 3.96 metres.

Source : New Era