Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Namibia grateful for flood support, analyzes response, via the Namibian (Windhoek): The Namibia Red Cross Society on Friday thanked donors and organisations that formed part of the relief efforts in response to the flooding in northern Namibia earlier this year. The floods, which hit all six northern regions, affected over 210 000 people, displaced about 65 000, and flooded close to 150 000 hectares of fields. Fifty-three people drowned and another 19 deaths resulted from cholera.

Through its disaster relief operations, the Red Cross was able to relocate 5 820 people to seven different camps, where they were provided with shelter, food, healthcare, clean water and sanitation. In all, the humanitarian organisation assisted more than 40 000 people (4 600 households), all of whom were able to move back into their homes by the end of August.

…Dorkus Kapembe-Haiduwa, Secretary General of the Namibian Red Cross Society, said in addition to difficulties in attracting international funding, a lack of essential relief items in local markets, the large geographical scale of the operation and difficult access to flooded areas, a number of other problems caused by a lack of sound Government policies on disaster response constrained the relief efforts.

"The lack of warehouses at the regional level, poor co-ordination among different stakeholders, and the lengthy customs clearance of goods for the operations due to the absence of legal instruments during emergencies," were all factors that hampered the response, she said.

…The Auditor General, Junius Kandjeke, recently reported that the Namibian Government remains unprepared for disaster. "Even though a lot of money is being spent on the process of disaster prevention and alleviation, there are still serious shortcomings in prevention and disaster management," he said…..

Ruacana Falls, Namibia, shot by Dr. Thomas Wagner, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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