THE new mayor of the Helao Nafidi town in the Ohangwena Region, Darius Shaalukeni, said that he was not aware of town residents who stay in a flood-prone area between Oshikango and Onamhinda and who are temporarily evacuated to higher ground every time there is flooding, but who return to their homes as soon as the water recedes without a permanent plan in place.
Shaalukeni, however, promised to get to the bottom of the matter following inquiries about those residents living in the low-lying area.
At the flood-prone location, several traditional homesteads and at least five newly erected shacks are visible.
“We are evacuated every time there is a flood, but return to our houses when the flood is over. We have no other option. This is the only land available to us. It is difficult, if not impossible, to get land elsewhere these days,” said Popyeinawa Nghishakelwa, whose household consists of 17 people.
She said that she was allocated her piece of land years ago after her 25-year-old marriage turned sour and her husband kicked her out of their marital house.
“But as you can see, this house is actually in the middle of an oshana. We are inundated practically every year. We find refuge elsewhere but return home as soon as floodwaters recede. We have no other option,” she said.