Botswana warns over floods disaster - Daily Nation

Botswana warns over floods disaster

Tuesday March 24 2009

By WENE OWINO, NATION Correspondent


Botswana has issued an alert after the flooding of the Okavango River affected villages in its Ngamiland District.

The Botswana national disaster management office warned people living along the river to move to higher ground because news from neighbouring Namibia where the river passes indicate that the flooding will get worse.

The Okavango River passes through Angola and Namibia before it pours its water into the world famous Okavango Delta in Botswana. The flooding of the river has already caused havoc in Angola and Namibia and Botswana is now bracing for the full effects of the deluge.

“Reports from our counterparts in Namibia who are already experiencing the same situation indicate that flooding is likely to increase thereby affecting other villages downstream in the delta. Similarly there are indications that the Chobe District (in Botswana) is also likely to be affected,” the Botswana disaster management office said warned.

“In the light of this, (we) would like to urge members of the public living along the affected areas to move to higher ground when the situation in their villages shows signs of deteriorating. In addition, they need to adhere to messages coming from the District Commissioner's office either about the possible flooding or evacuation. We also urge members of the public to listen to radio and watch TV on spot announcements on possible flooding in their areas,” a statement from the office said.

The statement said that already 63 families that live along the river in Botswana have been evacuated by the government.

“So far there have not been any reports of fatalities or injuries. Affected households have been relocated to higher ground,” the national disaster office said.

The office added that it is collaborating with the district administration, Botswana Red Cross Society and the security forces to assist those affected by the floods.