Namibia Braces for Worst Floods in History: ADRA Responds
SILVER SPRING, Md. – A dangerous combination of heavy rains and overflows from the Kavango and Zambezi Rivers are threatening tens of thousands of people in Namibia to flee their homes. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is responding, proving emergency supplies to people who are in danger of potentially facing some of the worst floods in Namibia’s history.
ADRA’s intervention will provide safe drinking water to 10,000 people in the Kabeko District of the Caprivi region through the distribution of water purification tablets. Water sources have become contaminated by the overflow of unclean river water, putting thousands of people at risk of contracting waterborne diseases. Each purification tablet has the capacity to purify 20-25 liters of water and will provide beneficiaries with three months of clean water. Additionally, ADRA is distributing basic emergency supplies, such as mosquito nets and blankets. Priority will be given to families with young children or chronically ill persons as precautionary measure to reduce the risk of exposure to malaria.
The Caprivi region is considered the wettest region in Namibia and is well accustomed to heavy rains and seasonal floods as several rivers and vast marshlands surround it. However, this season’s unusually heavy rains and high flow of river water has caused the Zambezi River to reach record high volumes and has already caused damage to farmhouses, crops, livestock and infrastructure.
Local government officials have already begun evacuating residents to settlement camps within flood-prone areas, amongst them are children evacuated from boarding schools. According to the Head of Emergency Directorate, plans are underway to evacuate over 50,000 others over the next few weeks.
ADRA, in partnership with the office of the Counselor of Kabeko District and the Regional Emergency Management Unit, will distribute the relief supplies over a two-week period. Of the 10,000 beneficiaries, 6,000 are exposed to contaminate drinking water, 4,000 are displaced persons, and 2,000 are children under five years of age.
ADRA International, ADRA South Africa, and the ADRA Southern Africa-Indian Ocean office have funded the intervention.