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Floods cause Namibia to declare state of emergency

[Namibia] Rising river levels raise fears of floods.
Rising waters (IRIN)

Namibia declared a state of emergency on 17 March to address the "devastating floods" that have killed at least 92 people.



Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said in a statement that the flooding in the country's northern and northeastern areas had "caused extensive destruction to homes, schools, health facilities, mahangu [pearl millet] and maize fields, businesses, as well as economic infrastructure such as roads and bridges."



The flooding, said by Pohamba to be "one of the worst such disasters in recent memory", had cancelled the benefits of the agricultural subsidies for subsistence farmers, and would require the distribution of large quantities of cereals "to prevent widespread hunger".



An indication of the severity of the flooding was that for the first time in "several decades" the Kwando and Linyanti rivers had joined the course of Chobe River, and the Zambezi River had risen seven metres, compared to the five-metre rise that occurred during the 2008 floods.



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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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