Ongwediva — Flood victims, who relocated to the emergency reception centre at Ehenye in Oshakati, have expressed willingness to move back to their homes since the flood has subsided but they fear their houses would flood again due to the unpredictable weather.
Those who spoke to New Era said they are starving.
They asked how they will survive given the fact that selling tombo and other alcohol is prohibited at the centre.
Paderia Amunyela of Oshoopala said most of them depend on selling kapana, tombo and other beverages to survive.
“We understand water has subsided but we fear flood might come again, since the rainy season is not over. Who will transport us again?” asked Amunyela.
She said, last month, Old Mutual donated food and other items, but only to some of the victims, although they were told that the food parcels were enough and everyone would get them.
“Every day, we are killing snakes. Our children are not safe here. Their beds are broken when we were relocating,” stressed Amunyela.
Maria Nakale also said they do not sleep at night because of the mosquitos.
“We are starving in here. We are unemployed. We also want to go home, but we have no choice,” she added.
One man, who spoke under anonymity, said the government and the Oshakati Town Council were providing aid at first but that has since stopped.
“They just wanted to get money from donors through us,” he said.
He said they are also tired of relocating every year due to the flood; they want plots like other people who got them free of charge.
Oshakati Town Council spokesperson Katarina Kamari clarified that all donations that were meant for flood victims from Old Mutual were given, except for four people who did not receive them, since the parcels were not enough.
“The council is not in a financial position to assist flood victims with food items. But the council, together with Oshana Regional Council, asked assistance from donors for food and other items that the two councils will not be able to assist with,” explained Kamari.
She said every financial year, budgetary provisions are made for the relocation of some Oshoopala households to the Onawa location, where residents will receive plots on higher ground with water, electrical lines and security services.
She further said it is part of the Oshakati Town Council’s strategic plan to relocate Oshoopala residents to the Onawa location.
According to the personal assistant to Oshana regional governor, Kristophine Nakandungile, their office did not receive any funds or items for flood victims.
“Yes, the central government said they will avail funds, but that did not reach our office yet,” said Nakandungile.
She said they are aware of the situation at the flood victims’ centre, and submitted all the requests to the central government.
Information minister Peya Mushelenga recently announced that cabinet has approved the funding of the flood relief programme at an estimated cost of N$72 million to assist flood-affected communities in the northern part of the country.
“The relief programme will assist the communities, whose households have been swamped by floodwaters, for the next six months until the following harvest,” said Mushelenga.
He further said the approved amount will provide relief in the form of clean drinking water, tents, food items, mosquito nets, hygiene items, life jackets and blankets, amongst others.
The regions of Ohangwena, Oshana and Omusati have been affected by floods since mid-January this year, resulting in the relocation of some communities to temporary shelters.