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Man swept away by flash flood

Man swept away by flash flood

Niël Terblanché

A SEARCH has been launched by members of the community and the Namibian Police for a man that was swept away by a flash flood in the Swakop River on Wednesday morning.

 

The Police in Okahandja confirmed the incident and said the search was launched on the banks of the river about ten kilometres south of Okahandja.

 

According to one of the farmers who resides on the banks of the river, the missing man was part of a group of three people who attempted to cross the flooding river on their way to work despite severe warnings.

 

People who saw the man being swept away said the woman and her baby and another man were rescued by bystanders. The third man disappeared under the water and is still missing.

 

 

The flash flood occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning after more than 100 millimetres’ of rain fell in the catchment areas of the Okahandja River and its tributaries during Tuesday night.

 

The flood also inundated small holding of James Roux, the owner of Osona Golden Fresh Eggs, the third largest egg producer in Namibia, and caused extensive damage to his operation.

 

“At least 2 500 of the chickens that were in the process of being raised to start producing eggs drowned when the river broke its banks for a second time this week. The damage is extensive and my egg production has been set back with six to eight months.”

 

Roux said the fact that earth dams further upstream in the river and its tributaries broke and illegal sand mining operations cause the river to break its banks and change direction.

 

“Instead of flowing past my small holding the river now flows in three different streams through my property which caused the chickens to drown. The flood water also inundated my home and other building on the small holding.”

 

Roux said the flood occurred a second time despite efforts to keep the river within its banks by stacking sand bags and building a sand wall with heavy earth moving machinery.

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