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Okahandja inundated by sudden river flood

Okahandja inundated by sudden river flood

Niël Terblanché

RESIDENTS of Okahandja are without water after a flood in the Okahandja River on Thursday evening damaged the main supply pipe line.


Some residents of Okahandja were knee deep in flood water after the river with the same name as the town, broke its banks for the first time 32 years.


A cloud burst in the catchment area of the Okamita River caused an earth dam in the river to collapse which sent a huge amount of water rushing to the Okahandja River. Added to that, heavy rains in the catchment area of the Okakango and Okahandja Rivers to the north and east of the town over the last two days saw the river flooding and breaking its banks on Thursday evening.


  • Okahandja river flood damaged water


Some home owners in the newer housing developments along the banks of the dormant river were knee deep in water by the time the sun set on Thursday. The home owners had to wait until Friday morning for the water level in the river to go down before they could start cleaning up and to make an assessment of the damage.


Two vehicles were washed away by the raging torrent and by Friday morning teams of workers were busy with recovery operations.


According to a local police officer the owners of the vehicles were caught unawares when the attempted to cross the river in the dark. In both cases the drivers and their passengers were able to escape to the safety of higher ground before their vehicles were washed down river.


Both vehicles were partly buried in the mud along the banks of the river and had to be dug out with the assistance of heavy machinery.


The water also inundated a small holding on the outskirts of town where a chicken farmer suffered some damage to his infrastructure. The farmer was able to save his birds from the worst of the flood.


The border fence of another small holding outside of town was damaged by the waters and the owner is currently still searching for some of animals that escaped as a result.


In the meantime the Okahandja Municipality has indicated in a notice to residents of the town that technical teams are busy repairing the damaged water supply infrastructure and that the service would resume shortly.

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