Thursday, July 7, 2022

Okavango/Chobe residents warned about impending floods

The Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) has requested for early warning action from the people living in Okavango/Chobe area as floods are expected in the area any time.

BCRS Disaster Management Coordinator, Kgomotsego Motopi, said floods can occur any time in the Okavango-Chobe area and are expected to last up to April.

Motopi said BCRS and the National Disaster Committee have already started making preparations so as to respond as fast as possible to avoid loss of lives.

Motopi said reports from the Ministry of Water Affairs show that chances of floods occurring are high.
The inflow from Angola into Mohembo is fast and fills the river quickly. She said the inflow, going at 176m2 per sec, push water levels higher than in 2010.

He urged the public to take warnings seriously as the water volume of the Mohembo River has increased from last year’s 367.619m 2 to 543.947m 2 this year.

Motopi said BRCS has held meetings with the National Disaster Management Committee to evacuate people to safer zones as soon as possible to avoid disaster. He added that BRCS had already positioned relief stock, like blankets, clothing and are looking into procuring food. They have also trained volunteers in the disaster prone areas of Maun, Kanye, Shakawe.

Motopi said the Okavango Sub District Disaster Management Committee is working around the clock warning people to keep away from the river to avoid any loss of life or property.

Motopi noted that Water Affairs said this year’s water levels are slightly higher than last year’s and, as such, this is likely to cause flooding in certain areas.

“In this regard we would like to caution members of the public residing adjacent to the rivers of possible flooding in the Okavango and Chobe areas to evacuate the area to higher land,” he said, adding that members of the public evacuated last year and who have since moved back to their places should cooperate fully with the District authorities to evacuate to higher and safer ground.
Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta and is irrigated by the Okavango River, which originates Angola.

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