Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pondering the best response to floods in Namibia, via New Era (Namibia): The scale of this year's floods is unprecedented both in terms of force and size and so too should be our national response to mitigate the effects thereof.. Our national response to this natural disaster has to be full scale, adequate and equally long term, if we are to save lives and property now and in future. Already, people have died and property destroyed by the force of the water in the northern regions. It is not far-fetched to speculate that more lives could still be lost unless appropriate measures are taken to save lives.

…Massive land is submerged by water, leaving little space or room for people to go on with their lives. In fact, the water has followed them into their lands and homes. With that comes a myriad of problems ranging from hunger to diseases.

….The situation in the north is dire with people experiencing all sorts of problems from lack of basic necessities like food and health care to drinking water. Scores of school children are simply sitting at home and not in class because classes have been suspended indefinitely.

It is these massive problems that all arms of government and indeed other social partners including our foreign friends must deal with head on. ….Food and other necessities are either delivered late or simply disappear. There are numerous cases of such misdemeanours. Other instances are those of food and basics being left to rot in warehouses while people go hungry. Sometimes tenders are awarded to companies with no capacities to handle big and urgent operations such as these.

…Last but not least, let the offices concerned hatch long-term plans and solutions to the problems posed by natural disasters from floods to drought. Granted, these disasters are not man-made but caused by natural forces and may not be avoided. However, their impact on communities and the economy can be minimised if appropriate plans are put in place.

Aerial photo of Zambezi River, where Namibia, Zamibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana all meet. Shot by Brian McMorrow (the image is on his website at, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

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