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Frequency of flooding on the increase

Frequency of flooding on the increase

Niël Terblanché

THE saturation of soil by continuous rain over the past ten days over large parts of Namibia is the cause of a sharp increase in flood events country wide.


A sudden heavy down pour in the mountains between Seeheim and Grunau in the deep south of Namibia inundated the iconic Roadhouse Lodge on Sunday. Besides flooding the lodge buildings the storm water also damaged gravel roads in the area.


Residents of Keetmanshoop reported that more than 30 millimetres of rain fell in less than half an hour on Sunday afternoon.


To the east of Keetmanshoop farmers in the area of Aroab near the border crossing also reported good rains since the start of weekend.


West of Keetmanshoop farmers in the area of Bethanie also reported good rains while farmers near the small town of Aus had their hands full when 20 millimetres of rain fell causing dry riverbeds to suddenly flood.


Heavy rain was also reported to the north of Keetmanshoop and almost the entire length of the gravel road connecting the town to Berseba was inundated with water flowing into the Fish River above the Neckertal Dam.


  • increase Namibia flood rain


Farmers in the Kalahari Desert in the southeast of Namibia also received good rains over the weekend. Good downpours were reported at places like Aranos, Gochas, Stampriet and Hoachanas.


To the north of Mariental The country side surrounding Schlip, Kalkrand and Rehoboth also received good rains during Sunday. The sporadic downpours in these areas caused rivers like the Kam and Schlip to come into flood soon after the rain fell. The flowing rivers ensured more inflow for the Hardap Dam which is slowly rising to a level of 30 percent.


Lower laying areas were turned into water pans that have not been seen for several years.


To the west the Tsauchab River flowed into the iconic Sesriem Canyon for the first time in two years. Water in the river is currently on the way to the Sossusvlei Dunes.


The large flat plains between Maltahöhe and Helmeringhausen were also running with flood water as good rains fell over the area.


Strong downpours also occurred over large parts of the Khomas Hochland causing the Kuiseb River to flow strongly. Water in the river is slowly making its way through the dry Namib Desert towards the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in three years.


Windhoek also received steady rain while to the east the White Nossob River is flowing strongly.


To the east of the capital city, Gobabis and the smaller towns in the Omaheke Region also reported floods in the streets as a result of heavy rain.


In the meantime water in the Oamruru River reached the Omdel Dam on Sunday and more inflow is expect today as heavy rain continued over the catchment area of the river.


Heavy rains were also recorded in the Erongo Mountains, Usakos and Karibib while further to the east Okahandja and surrounding areas again received good rains.


The Von Bach Dam reached full capacity and NamWater decided to open one of the flood gates to let out enough water to get the water volume in the dam back down to 99 percent.


The water that was let go from the Von Bach Dam filled the Swakop River to capacity while the level of the Swakoppoort Dam rose steadily.


Below the Swakoppoort dam the river has been flowing strongly for the past two days as good rains continued over the northern parts of the Khomas Hochland.


The Khan River also came into flood several times over the past three days. The Khan River feeds into the Swakop River which is also slowly making its way through the Namib Desert.


Further to the north good showers were reported at places like Khorixas, Kamanjab, Outjo and Otjiwarongo since the start of the weekend.


Otavi, Grootfontein and Tsumeb also received good showers. Some farmers in the area of Grootfontein reported that as much as 70 millimetres fell over the past two days.


Flood water from southern Angola is steadily making its way into northern Namibia. The flood has already inundated parts of Oshikango and Oshakati. Buildings housing shops and houses have been flooded and in one case residents of the Oshoopala Location had to be evacuated to higher ground by the Oshakati Municipality.


The water canal the supplies the major towns in the north with water from the Calueque Dam in southern Angola has also disappeared under flood water in certain places.


According to the Namibia Meteorological Service rain over large parts of the central and northern and north eastern regions of Namibia will continue. Parts of Southern Namibia will experience cloudy conditions with isolated thundershowers.


At the coast partly cloudy and cool to warm weather conditions with fog patches in the morning are expected.

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