By Hileni Nembwaya
MORE than 200 people have been left displaced, while others have been relocated to higher ground amidst millions of dollars used on the Oshakati master plan project following the good rains received last week.
The above average rainfall also saw many parts flooded, dams and rivers swell and fields turn green.
The Oshakati master plan project was aimed at widening, deepening and lining the Okatana River at Oshakati in order to mitigate flood measures, and an amount close to N$1,8 billion was pumped into this project.
According to the environmental scoping report, the project was necessitated following heavy floods that occurred in the Oshakati-Ongwediva areas in 2008, which affected Oshakati severely, considering it being one of the densely populated towns in the north.
Werner Iita, the chief executive officer of Oshakati town council said that the Oshakati master plan project has so far helped in mitigating flood consequences and it has been effective.
“The master plan has worked so far and it has really helped most areas from getting flooded. The project has not yet been entirely completed due to insufficient funds; we have completed the first phase so far,” said Iita.
So far the council has only managed to deepen the Okatana River and constructed a number of bridges around the town.
Iita said that other components of the project which include a dyke and lining of the Okatana River with concrete have been put on hold and the project will only commence after the council has received enough funds to run the project.
He was also quick to point out that it is only Oshoopala informal settlement that has been flooded because the residents ignored the council rules and opted to erect their corrugated iron shacks in the floodplain areas.
About 51 corrugated iron shacks have been destroyed by floodwaters at areas such as Oshoopala, Oneshila and Sky informal settlements.
“We have been preaching and telling them to stop erecting corrugated iron shacks in the floodplains but they ignored us. Now we are forced to use our resources which were meant to be used for something else by relocating them to higher grounds. We have been warning them on many occasions,” said Iita.
Those that have been severely affected by the flooding caused by the recent heavy rains have been relocated at Ekuku settlement.
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