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Efundja causes chaos in the North

Efundja causes chaos in the North

Maria David & Placido Hilukilwa

A NUMBER of schools in Northern regions have closed down temporarily after buildings were flooded and access roads washed away following heavy rains and the arrival of the seasonal efundja waters from the south of Angola.


At the same time people in certain villages are currently unable to reach clinics in their areas as flood water suddenly surrounded them.
Life was plunged into utter chaos over the weekend as rural villages and informal settlements in the Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshana regions were inundated by rain water or the efundja waters flowing in from the north of the border.


Isak Hamatwi, the education director in the Ohangwena Region said that many schools are affected, but could not give an exact number of the schools that were forced to close.


However, he confirmed that the Shituwa Secondary School at Endola and the Edundja Primary School have closed.


He is still waiting for the various circuit inspectors to brief him on the situation in their respective areas of jurisdiction.


Hamatwi also confirmed police reports that Edundja PS learner, Ndapewa Junias (7) drowned while on her way from school on Friday.


schools closed down temporarily flooded roads rains
Pictured: Immanuel, a resident of the Oshoopala location of Oshakati was catching and selling fresh water fish while others were busy evacuating their flooded houses. His house is located on the part that was not yet affected. – Photo: Placido Hilukilwa


The situation in the Omusati region is not any better.


Various school principals had to go on the NBC Oshiwambo service early Monday morning informing parents not to send lower primary learners to school due to the rising volume of water in the oshanas.


The Director of Health in the Ohangwena Region, John Hango, said although access roads to the various clinics have not been damaged and most are easily accessible, that some villagers are indeed trapped by flood water.


He said the directorate is currently working on strategies on how to best assist communities that were cut off from clinics and outreach points by the flood.


The Oshoopala Location of Oshakati was hard hit when the efundja waters arrived on Sunday.


Residents had to evacuate their houses and hurry up to high ground.
The Oshakati town council provided transport, but it was inadequate and some families had to rope in private vehicles to assist them.


Approached for comment, town council spokesperson Katarina Kamari said that many families were moved to the temporary camp at Ehenye.


She added that the evacuation process is still on and numbers will only be made available later.


Meanwhile, Informante’s sources in southern Angola are warning that a large mass of water is currently on its way from the neighbouring country, suggesting that the northern parts of Namibia might be on the eve of a flood that is bigger than the floods that submerged villages, displaced people, caused widespread destruction of roads and bridges and led to the closure of schools ten years ago.


However, that is not all bad news.


The waters of the seasonal efundja bring with it fresh water fish, presenting a welcome opportunity to unemployed residents to catch fish for own consumption and to sell, thereby earning much needed pocket money.