Conditions worsening for Namibia’s flood victims
29 May 2009
Severe flooding in the southern African state of Namibia has affected 700,000 people and left 40,000 homeless and in acute need. The Zambezi river rose over 8 metres after heavy rains this month, flooding the north of the country.
Thousands of people left homeless after severe flooding in Namibia. There is an urgent need for warm blankets and clothing for children, plastic sheeting, water purification tablets, and extra food for infants.
Regional Caritas coordinator Sr Aine Hughes said on a recent visit to the affected area, “The majority of the houses and homesteads are built with clay bricks. They have been either partially or totally destroyed with the result that people are either homeless or their homes are now uninhabitable.
“Some had to abandon everything with only the clothes they wore, leaving them totally destitute now. They’re living in tents and makeshift shelters of plastic sheeting. They don’t have ground sheets or mattresses.”
There is an urgent need for warm blankets and clothing for children, plastic sheeting, water purification tablets, and extra food for infants. Caritas Namibia(NACADEC) is offering facilitate the distribution of these through its local structures where the many volunteers are offering their services.
Over 200 schools have been closed and 100,000 children have had to interrupt their schooling. Crops have been destroyed, leaving no harvest for the upcoming winter, health clinics have been forced to close, leaving people living with HIV at serious risk.
Sources of clean water for drinking and cooking have been either destroyed or polluted. Access to the rivers is impossible due to the flooding, so the people are subjected to severe water restrictions. Many camps are inadequately supplied with drinking water.
Caritas plans to work with affected communities, to find them higher land to resettle, offer training in adaptation technologies so new homes will be better able to with stand flooding, and promote sustainable agriculture.
“The impact of climate change is having more severe effects on vulnerable communities in these parts of the country, who are dependent on rain- fed agriculture and subsistence livelihoods. People here need to be able to mitigate against impact of climate change where possible and adapt to the variations in weather to secure their livelihoods. There are also some simple technologies such as the introduction of housing using ‘soil-cement’ bricks to withstand rain and water damage,” said Sr Hughes.
For more information, please contact Patrick Nicholson on 0039 334 359 0700 or email@example.com