Flood affected pupils get tents

Over 27 000 Namibian pupils from the northern and north eastern parts of the country will benefi t from the tents that will be provided by the education ministry.

The floods which hit those areas during the beginning of the rainy season have had a negative impact on these pupils who have often been forced to cross fl ooded areas to get to school. Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa last week said that the current rains received in the north and north-eastern parts of the country have made these parts of the country experienced the seasonal fl ooding that have caused disruption and continue to disrupt educational service provision.

“After our consistent monitoring with the regions, the Ministry observed that a total of 27 007 learners and 102 schools in the region of Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Zambezi are affected by floods so far. Omusati region has the highest number of school affected by fl oods, a total number of 73 schools are affected in Omusati region,” Hanse-Himarwa said.

She further added that most schools that were closed for almost two weeks due to fl ooding reopened after the midterm break. The Villager learnt that buildings and ablution facilities submerged and most have been damaged and will require some renovation. About 10 schools are affected by fl oods in the Oshana region. Oikango combined school in Eheke circuit is temporarily closed and Grade 10 learners are currently camping at the Teachers Resource Centre.

Meanwhile Omulunga Primary school with 99 learners is still closed with the possibility of reopening if provided with tents for camping at school. Zambezi region is considered the most affected region and is experiencing deep water floods. “The current level of the Zambezi River has reached 6.5 meters, which is considered a disaster to the education sector. This has resulted in 12 schools in Zambezi region affected so far and the fl ood situation is still developing in that region. No schools have been reported closed for now but the water level is rising very fast and there are plans to immediately close schools such as Nankute and Ikaba Combined Schools in the coming week as there are no funds to relocate the learners and teachers,” Hanse -Himarwa said.

She said it should be noted that the current fl ood situation facing some schools in Zambezi region is an annual occurrence that will perpetually continue to disturb teaching and learning annually if no sustainable permanent solutions are explored and implemented as a matter of urgency.

The Villager understand that ideas such as relocating and resettling affected people or communities to higher grounds seem not to be favored by locals who prefer to be given relief by the government while they remain where they are. Also given the existence of much investment that was made by the government in terms of fi xed educations facilities in almost school localities consideration for relocation may not be economical. Education ministry is currently faced with the shortage of facilities and items such as tents, boats mosquito nets sanitary materials and funds that are needed to mitigate the impact of the fl ood.

In the meantime, the education ministry has developed regional contingency plans mostly in fl ood prone areas and has helped the Ministry to some extent and use the contingency plans to lobby for funds within the Ministry’s budget and buy tents which are used during the times of fl ooding. “Funds are limited and the Ministry is challenged to be able to meet the needs as requested by the regions. In most cases the schools while continuing to provide basic needs to the learners such as tents and other facilities,” Hanse -Himarwa said.