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Early rain causes chaos at Oshakati

Early rain causes chaos at Oshakati

Pictured: The Okatana Road of Oshakati is closed for construction works and road users have been using a detour through the oshana Ompumbu, but the rain has now turned the dirt road into a sodden mud. – Oshakati town council employees trying to unblock a culvert to release the rain water in the Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto Street. – Part of Oshakati’s Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto Street after Sunday evening’s rain. – A Chinese road construction contractor had to dispatch a wheel loader to rescue vehicles that got stuck in the muddy oshana. – Photos: Placido Hilukilwa

Placido Hilukilwa

SIGNS have been there all along that this year’s wet season might start early, but still Sunday’s rainfall caught the residents in the northern regions by surprise.
Preceded by a few scattered drops a week ago, Sunday’s rainfall started before nightfall and continued throughout the night accompanied by a westerly wind and characterized by lightning and thunder.
A good rainfall was reported in most parts of the Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions.
Speaking to Informante at around 11:00 today, a resident of Ongenga in the Ohangwena region, Boas Mwapopi said: “It started raining at around 19:00 and it is still raining here. All the oshanas are already full of water.”
Meanwhile, Oshakati town is in a state of uproar as town council employees struggle to unblock the drainage system to release the rain water that accumulated on the streets.
Road construction contractors had to rescue a number of vehicles that got stuck in the Ompumbu waterway, the direct result of a road upgrading project.
The Okatana Road was closed for construction purposes and motorists have to use a dirt road through the dry Ompumbu waterway.
However, the rain has now transformed the oshana into sodden mud making it practically impassable.
Although the sudden advent of the wet season has raised the expectation of a good rainy season ahead, it also caused confusion among the subsistence farmers who are now uncertain on whether to wait or to start working their mahangu fields.
The rainy season in the North ordinarily begins at the end of November or early December and lasts until April.
“As far as I can remember, the last time we had such a good rain in October was in 1978,” said elderly resident of the Uupindi informal settlement, Hilaria Kalomho.

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