Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Strengthen Namibia's early warning system for floods

New Era (Namibia): There is an urgent need to strengthen early warning, monitoring and response mechanisms to prepare for future floods in the country. This is one of 19 recommendations proposed in the National Response to the 2011 Flood Disaster Report launched by Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku on Friday.

The Flood Emergency Management Co-coordinating Office (FEMCO) received about N$2.5 million for its operations during the floods after President Hifikepunye Pohamba declared the floods a state of emergency on 29 March 2011. FEMCO was established following a Cabinet decision on the same day, with the purpose to provide effective and efficient responses to flooding.

Another recommendation is to shift away from emergency response to disaster risk reduction, incorporating integrated approaches within the different Government sectors, as well as in the work plans of various development partners.

The report further stressed that uniform reporting formats for future flood responses are critical, while permanent relocation from flood-prone areas, and enhancement of floodwater movement through its natural routes can immensely reduce the flood effects.

According to the report, there is also a need to procure boats that can be used in shallow and swampy areas. The report also emphasises the importance of harvesting flood water for sustainable economic development, including irrigation before a drought hits Namibia again...

A flood on the Klein Windhoek River, Namibia, shot by Bries, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

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