- As the floodwaters in north-eastern Namibia are retreating, aid to the 12,000 people displaced by the floods is coming in. The floods are the worst to have been registered in the Caprivi region for several decades.
The United Nations reported today that swollen riverbeds and floodwaters have finally begun to subside following Namibia's worst flood in over two decades, but it could still be months before the waters recede to levels that will allow thousands of people to return to their homes.
In its latest update, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted that floodwaters, which displaced 12,000 people form rural villages in the Caprivi region of north-eastern Namibia in early May, had started to subside.
The floods, said to be the worst in 21 years, occurred when after few days of torrential rains the Zambezi River burst its banks, submerging twenty-two villages. The authorities estimate that it will take six months for the water to completely recede to normal level.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported that agricultural fields had been flooded, grain stores damaged and croplands that were planted late were completely destroyed. The UN response to the disaster has included food distribution by WFP, and delivery of water purification tablets by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
In its latest 'Emergency Report', the WFP noted that it had "monitored and provided technical support for distribution to approximately 12,000 flood-affected people in Kabbe constituency of Caprivi region."
- Beneficiaries received a two-month ration consisting of corn-soya blend, pulses, vegetable oil and salt provided by WFP, the UN agency said. The government of Namibia further had provided additional food commodities.
The recently imposed government ban on the importation of maize was somewhat complicating the UN agency's work in Namibia, however. WFP is also providing food assistance to Angolan refugees in Namibian camps, which now are in the process of repatriation.
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