CONTINUED rain over large parts of Namibia from the beginning of the year has created several rare sightings of water flowing in places where it has not done so in ages.
Although historic names of places denote that it has some connection to water like ‘fountain’ or ‘waterfall’, the actual reason for naming such places comes from the local folklore about historical abundance. The advent of modern communication technology, however, has brought such rare sights deep in the hinterland of Namibia within easy reach of viewers from all over the world.
Water spilling over a rocky cliff in the Karas Mountains on a farm aptly named Waterval between Keetmanshoop and Grunau is a prime example of a once-in-a-lifetime experience captured on video. Further back in history the farm was also known as Sturtsbach which if translated directly from German to English, means shower hole.
In the meantime, residents of the Zambezi Region have been warned to take all necessary precautions against widespread flooding from the Zambezi River.
According to the Flood Bulletin provided by Namibia Hydrological Service the water level in the Zambezi Region is rising rapidly. The latest bulletin indicates that the level in the river at Katima Mulilo is currently at 4.79 metres and that the rising water has already started flowing into the floodplains in the eastern parts of the region.
The bulletin indicates that substantial rainfall has occurred over the Zambezi River Basin for the past few weeks and that the likelihood exists that the water level in the river will rise to high above average this year.
People residing on the plains between the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers are most likely to be affected by the out-of-season floods this year.
The Zambezi River is Africa’s fourth-largest perennial river. It originates north of Zambia and flows through Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and Botswana, and into Zambia again, and then along the Zimbabwean border and through Mozambique, where it reaches the Indian Ocean about 150km north of the port city of Beira.
At the same time, people living on the banks of the Orange River were cautioned that the water level might rise again after the floodgates of several dams in the Vaal and Orange rivers and other contributory rivers in South Africa were opened.
The release of water from the Vaal Dam and Bloemhof Dam was quite high while water was also released from the Vanderkloof Dam.
According to the bulletin flow in the Kunene and Okavango Rivers has remained low in contrast to the other large perennial rivers.
With regards to the Kuvelai flood basin in northern Namibia, the hydrological service warned that contingency planning for flood mitigation and recovery must be updated, upgraded, and activated.
This cautionary notice follows a prediction of heavy rainfall that will occur during the remainder of the season.