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Zambezi floods southeastern Caprivi

[Namibia] Localized floods have already been reported in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, but the greatest current concern is in the Caprivi Strip in north-eastern Namibia where authorities claim it is the worst flooding in the area since 1958. The wate Reliefweb
The Zambezi is expected to flood eastern Caprivi yet again in another week
Namibian authorities were racing to evacuate residents of southeastern Caprivi on Friday as the Zambezi began flooding villages near Lake Liambezi, a senior official told IRIN. Large portions of eastern Caprivi have been submerged for the past two months in the worst floods since 1958, affecting a reported 50,000 people. "The river has now begun flooding villages in the southern part of Katima rural. We have noticed that as the speed of the river starts slowing down as it approaches Lake Liambezi, its water tends to flood the villages in the area. We are hoping to evacuate at least 500 to 600 people who have been affected in the area in the next few days," Ndeutapo Amagulu, the deputy permanent secretary at the ministry of environment and tourism said. Rescue workers had completed evacuation from the eastern part of the flood-hit Caprivi on Friday, removing over a thousand villagers from Muzii, Mpukano and Nsundwa in the past two days. Since the Zambezi burst its banks during the first week of April, he said, the authorities had evacuated a total of 2,500 people from at least seven villages around the regional capital, Katima Mulilo, and in the Kabbe constituency. Earlier this week, Amagulu told IRIN that the Zambezi was expected to cross the seven-metre mark for the second time in another five to seven days, as incessant heavy rainfall in western Zambia and eastern Angola would cause the river to swell again. "It now seems that the second flooding has begun - because we have noticed large quantities of grass, branches and rubbish in the water," Amagulu commented on Friday. The number of affected people is expected to rise next week, and the Namibian authorities were running out of tents and cooking oil, with soaps and salt for the evacuees also in short supply, he said. The British Red Cross announced on Thursday that it was supporting an appeal from its main body, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, with funds from its Disaster Fund and contributions from Jersey Overseas Aid to help the 50,000 affected people for five months. Nicola Stevenson, the British Red Cross assistant desk officer for Southern Africa, said in a press statement, "This year the rains came a lot earlier, which means that the situation might deteriorate further before it gets better." The funds will pay for tents, tarpaulins and blankets, as well as mosquito nets, purification tablets and jerry cans, said the statement. According to the British Red Cross, there are concerns that water contamination could provoke an outbreak of waterborne diseases and malaria, deepening the vulnerability of people living with HIV/AIDS. The Caprivi strip has a HIV prevalence rate of about 43 percent - the highest in Namibia.

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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